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December

Bluefield College Grants 136 Diplomas during 15th Annual Winter Commencement

One hundred thirty-six Bluefield College seniors -- one of the largest winter graduating classes in BC history -- were awarded bachelor's degrees during the school's 15th Annual Winter Commencement, Saturday, December 16. President Charles Warren welcomed the capacity crowd to Harman Chapel for the traditional celebration. The interim BC leader recognized special guests, family, faculty and staff and spoke about the significance of the day and the value of a Christian college education.

"This is your special day," Dr. Warren told the graduates. "It is a time to recognize your hard work and achievements, but it is also a time to recognize the Judeo Christian principles that are the foundation for your education."

Outstanding graduating seniors Amber May Gidden and Marguerite Denise Campbell offered Commencement addresses for their classmates. Gidden, a traditional student from Lecanto, Florida, majoring in criminal justice, shared the two most important lessons she had learned while a student at BC.

"First is that everything happens for a reason," said Gidden, a member of the BC women's soccer team whose senior season ended prematurely because of heart surgery. "It may not be clear to you right away, but God has a purpose for you, and everything that happens in your life happens so that He might fulfill that purpose."

Gidden, who also served as a BC Student Ambassador, told her classmates that they take more than just a diploma from Bluefield College. They take, she said, fond memories, lifelong friendships, and the assurance that "you are never truly alone." "God always provides someone to support and encourage you," Gidden shared as her second life lesson. "I have been surrounded by extraordinary family, friends, classmates, faculty and staff who have supported me through all of my challenges at Bluefield College." Campbell, a behavioral science major from Falls Mills, Virginia, in BC's adult degree-completion program, spoke about the realization of a lifelong dream.

"Thirty-one years ago I began my quest for a college education," said Campbell, an office manager for the Public Defender's Office in Princeton, West Virginia. "Now, at the age of 48, I am finally reaching that milestone. I feel so blessed that God directed my path to Bluefield College. Yes, I have finished this race, but all the glory and honor belong to God."

Campbell, whose husband, Morgan, is a teacher and coach at Graham High School in Bluefield, Virginia, also shared stories about the setbacks that prolonged the realization of her dream. Faith, she said, enabled her to persevere. "Through all the setbacks," Campbell said, "I was reminded to trust God and to remember His faithfulness. He is who He is no matter where we are."

Bluefield College assistant professor of theatre Charles Reese offered additional words of wisdom through a faculty address. Reese said he wanted his remarks to the graduating seniors to be different than most speeches. In fact, he said he wanted to share something with them that they had never heard before.

"Don't grow up! Refuse to grow up!" Reese told the seniors. Children, he said, find joy in the task at hand and look at the world with wonder and awe. Kids, he added, also believe that there is always going to be someone there "to take care of them or to fix things.

"God's word teaches us the same thing," Reese said. "Don't forget how to play. Find the joy and wonder in life, and learn to climb up into the Father's arms and rest in His protection."

The graduating seniors were also recognized during a Baccalaureate program prior to Commencement. The traditional faith-focused ceremony featured remarks from keynote speaker Rev. Danny Quirin, a minister of youth at Bonsack Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia. Rev. Quirin, whose son, Scott, is a student at Bluefield College, encouraged the seniors to consider the difference between "rubbish" and "relative." In fact, he challenged the students to reflect on their lives to this point -- the milestone moments, the awards and accolades.

"Those moments and awards," he said, "are often used to define who we are. But, according to the apostle Paul, all of that stuff is rubbish. What truly matters is do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

Dr. Warren along with Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Gomez and Registrar Cathy Matherly conferred the 136 degrees. BC's winter class of 2006 included:

Edward Carroll Alford, Galax, Virginia
Deborah Ann Baharloo, Richmond, Virginia
Stephen Leonard Baker, Jacksonville, Florida
Christine J. Baldwin, Powhatan, Virginia
Kenneth W. Ball, Richlands, Virginia
Denise Pannell Bird, Richmond, Virginia
Angela Diane Bise, Rural Retreat, Virginia
Karen D. Blevins, Roanoke, Virginia
E. Howard Booker, Charlottesville, Virginia
Wallace Leon Bouldin, Jr., Chesterfield, Virginia
Sherry Shonay Bowen, Hampton, Virginia
Karen Bradbury, Powhatan, Virginia
Jodette Dorene Brandon, Roanoke, Virginia
Jeannette Cook Brown, Bedford, Virginia
Monique Ssanyu Brown, Roanoke, Virginia
Shannon Poore Brown, Woodlawn, Virginia
Joshua Darin Brummitt, Abingdon, Virginia
Karen L. Bryant, Bassett, Virginia
Kelley Ann Buchanan, Tazewell, Virginia
Alan Stuart Buckner, Roanoke, Virginia
Zachary Steven Bulman, Denver, Colorado
Abbey B. Campbell, Big Stone Gap, Virginia
Marguerite Denise Campbell, Falls Mills, Virginia
Deborah Thompson Carlson, Chesapeake, Virginia
Ralph R. Christian, Jr., Richmond, Virginia
Ellen L. Cianelli, Blacksburg, Virginia
Richard J. Clack, North Tazewell, Virginia
Carolyn Fowler Cole, Hillsville, Virginia
Christopher J. Coleman, Richmond, Virginia
Colleen E. Coleman, Dumfries, Virginia
Annette Marie Cornish, Richmond, Virginia
Sherri Harris Corvin, Elk Creek, Virginia
Kathy O. Cressel, Rural Retreat, Virginia
Kimberly Marie Cross, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Teresa Laura Cuddy, Fincastle, Virginia
William Theodore Cuddy, Fincastle, Virginia
Angela J. Cunningham, Bristol, Virginia
Kristy Dianna Dale, Lebanon, Virginia
Fern Robin Heller daSilva, Milford, Virginia
Barry D. Dolan, Lynchburg, Virginia
Melissa K. Dotson, Hurley, Virginia
Debbie Christine Draper-Garris, Chesterfield, Virginia
Dwayne Delanor Drew, Roanoke, Virginia
James Trent Dudding, Ruckersville, Virginia
Rondall Lee Early, Chesapeake, Virginia
Cherlyn Diane Edwards, Sumerduck, Virginia
Debbie Lynn Elkins, Christiansburg, Virginia
Cassandra McPhail Ellis, Richmond, Virginia
Kim Renee Enright, Lexington, Virginia
Carmen Clark Faison, Richmond, Virginia
Laura R. Ferguson, Norfolk, Virginia
Dawn B. Fields, Moneta, Virginia
Mark Stephen Fields, Charlottesville, Virginia
Rhonda Jean Garland, Roanoke, Virginia
Amber May Gidden, Lecanto, Florida
Alice Dickerson Gillespie, Roanoke, Virginia
Elsie Marcelle Goins, Bluefield, West Virginia
Rebecca Lynn Goins, Bluefield, West Virginia
Kevin David Gorter, Richmond, Virginia
Sandra D. Graham, Blacksburg, Virginia
Courtney Christine Hammack, Richmond, Virginia
Vivian Denise Hardin, Charlotte, North Carolina
Kristopher Clark Hardy, Chesapeake, Virginia
Harold R. Harmon, Jr., Chesapeake, Virginia
Moreen Y. Harris, Farmville, Virginia
Heath Bradley Harrison, Big Rock, Virginia
Joseph Scott Hazelwood, Lindside, West Virginia
Michael W. Hefner, Ronceverte, West Virginia
Kevin S. Helton, Richlands, Virginia
Danny Ron Mitchelle Henderson, Lumberton, North Carolina
Jeanette Marie Hentze, Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Andrea H. Herndon, Louisa, Virginia
John Kevin Jacobs, Richmond, Virginia
Jennifer Perry Jacobson, Chesterfield, Virginia
Yvette Landrum Jarrell, Orange, Virginia
Bernard Edward Johnson, Jr., Suffolk, Virginia
Shana Marie Kitts, Tazewell, Virginia
Karen Deal Mabry, Blacksburg, Virginia
Cari Anders Mahan, Wytheville, Virginia
Helena May Marchi, Richmond, Virginia
Philip Anthony Markowski, Chester, Virginia
Keith E. Martin, Shawsville, Virginia
Willie A. May, Sr., Richmond, Virginia
Heidi J. H. McClintic, Salem, Virginia
Elizabeth McDaniel, Ringgold, Virginia
Andrew T. McElvery, Blacksburg, Virginia
Robert J. McMichael, Sr., Virginia Beach, Virginia
Stephen Craig Mercer, Stafford, Virginia
Kelley H. Mitchell, Eagle Rock, Virginia
Nancy Butner Moore, Ivor, Virginia
Kellie C. Morris, Pearisburg, Virginia
Melissa Kim Mueller, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Ryan Neil Myers, Winchester, Virginia
Sherry Ann O'Berry, York, Pennsylvania
Tracy L. O'Blinsky, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Mary Elizabeth Osborne, Pearisburg, Virginia
Carolyn Foster Paige, Roanoke, Virginia
Rebecca Jane Parker, Chester, Virginia
Timothy Charles Paul, Princeton, West Virginia
Amy Caroline Phillips, Spotsylvania, Virginia
Garnett L. Phillips, Pearisburg, Virginia
Nicholas Wade Quesenberry, North Tazewell, Virginia
Rachel D. Reedy, Goodview, Virginia
Tammy Lee Roberts, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Carlos J. Robles, Prince William County, Virginia
Elizabeth M. Saunders, Richlands, Virginia
Andrea M. Shelse, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Mary Susan Shortt, Richlands, Virginia
Kathy M. Smith, Meadowview, Virginia
Robert Paul Sponaugle, Sterling, Virginia
Jennifer Lucille Street, Red Ash, Virginia
Darlene Marie Hunt Stroud, Martinsville, Virginia
Ruth Ann Talley, Woodbridge, Virginia
Judy Wright Taylor, Narrows, Virginia
Kori Amanda Terrell, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Phillip Wayne Thompson, Richmond, Virginia
Rochelle C. Trick, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Paul Michael Upton, Richmond, Virginia
Barry Dwayne Vassar, Richmond, Virginia
Richard A. Vaughan, Grayson County, Virginia
Shannon Nicole Wall-Willett, Bristow, Virginia
Walter Fitzgerald Wallace, Talladega, Alabama
Lisa Atkinson Waller, Halifax, Virginia
William Anderson Watkins, Mt. Pleasant, Texas
Sonia Renee Watts, Lexington, Virginia
Elaine White-Rowan, Bronx, New York
Deborah A. Wilkins, Galax, Virginia
Justin Robert Williams, Union Hall, Virginia
Linda S. Williams, South Boston, Virginia
Stephen Blake Williams, Tappahannock, Virginia
Anika N. Wilson, Fredericksburg, Virginia
April Renee Wilson-Reasor, Christiansburg, Virginia
Mandy LaRae Yates, Haysi, Virginia
Richard E. Zawislak, Murfreesboro, North Carolina

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Bluefield College Professor Selected for State Education Post

Bluefield College professor Dr. Lewis Buterakos is helping the Commonwealth of Virginia determine its standards for testing future educators.

Dr. Buterakos, a professor of math at BC, was recently selected by the Educational Testing Service to serve on the Standard Setting Committee for the Mathematics Praxis II exam for the Virginia Department of Education.

The Department of Education solicits nominations from educational institutions across the Commonwealth to fill the 24 positions on the Standard Setting Committee, an intentionally diverse group, according to Dr. Buterakos, representing a variety of ethnic backgrounds and possessing a range of experience.

"There are educators from public schools with just few years of experience to department heads with many years of experience," Dr. Buterakos said.

As a member of the Standard Setting Committee, Dr. Buterakos and the 23 other educators have analyzed an actual copy of the Praxis II exam for math. During this initial stage of review, known as the knowledge estimation portion, the group was to decide if a college student studying to be a teacher would be able to complete the test. During stage one, the Standard Setting Committee also worked to determine if the Praxis II accurately measures the ability of a student to become a teacher in the classroom.

"I've enjoyed being a part of the process," Dr. Buterakos said about his participation on the Standard Setting Committee. "This is not something the Educational Testing Service does very often. It is quite an honor and responsibility. Our responses are being used to help set standards that people will have to achieve in order to be certified teachers. I enjoyed being a part of that process."

Based on their findings, members of the Standard Setting Committee will offer feedback to the Educational Testing Service on what the "cut score" should be for the math Praxis II exam -- the score a student should make on the test in order to be considered qualified to teach.

During a second phase of review, a job appropriateness phase, Dr. Buterakos and the other committee members considered the questions, "Should a teacher certified to teach in Virginia be able to complete the problems on the test?" and "Is this test an appropriate measure of a person's ability to teach?" The entire process, Dr. Buterakos said, was an honor and a professional development experience.

"It's a neat distinction. Any time you can serve your discipline at this kind of level is a privilege to do so," the BC professor said. "Being a part of this process helped give me a feel for what the Educational Testing Service is looking for -- the philosophy behind their questions. And that can only help me as a professor in preparing our students to take the Praxis exam."

Dr. Buterakos has been a member of the Bluefield College faculty since the fall of 2002. An assistant professor of math, he earned a Ph.D. in math and philosophy from Virginia Tech. He also holds a master's degree in math and a bachelor's degree in geology. In addition to his teaching duties, he is BC's faculty athletics representative.

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Virginia Baptists Increase Funding for Bluefield College

Excerpts printed courtesy of Robert Dilday, The Religious Herald

Virginia Baptists recently adopted a $14.2 million budget to fund their ministries in 2007, and the new financial plan not only featured a $100,000 increase in the overall budget from this year, but also a significant boost in funding for Bluefield College.

The 1,053 messengers attending the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) in mid November voted to modify three allocations in the budget proposal presented by its Budget Committee. One modification in particular benefited Bluefield College, which will receive $307,000 next year, up from the $142,000 originally recommended by the Committee.

"This was really a move that come from the messengers themselves," said Bluefield College Interim President Charles Warren about the modification in BC's allocation. "A lot of people joined hands to raise questions about our value with Virginia Baptists. We work hard to fulfill our covenant with the BGAV, and we'll work harder now. We're going to take this mandate and run with it."

Bluefield's proposed reduction, which would have lowered its funding more than 50 percent from $288,000 this year to $142,000 in 2007, was due to a policy decision enacted by this year's Budget Committee -- that any entity receiving five percent or less of its budget from the BGAV may not receive an allocation of more than one percent of the BGAV's budget. That policy impacted not only Bluefield, but also Virginia Intermont College, Virginia Baptist Homes, and Virginia Baptist Children's Home and Family Services.

"Bluefield needs our financial support," said Shelton Miles, pastor of First Baptist Church of Republican Grove in Nathalie, who offered the amendment to increase, not reduce BC's funding. "None of our educational partners have more fully embraced Kingdom Advance [the BGAV's overall mission thrust] than Bluefield. All our partners are equally loved, but their needs are not equal."

Had the BGAV budget passed without the modification proposed by Rev. Miles, support for Bluefield College from Virginia Baptists would have dropped some $146,000.

"That kind of drop in funding would have been equivalent to a loss of 14 students paying full tuition at Bluefield College," Dr. Warren said, "or in other words, 11 percent of the entire BC freshman class."

Instead, BC will see its funding from the BGAV rise from $288,000 this year to $307,000 in 2007, and that kind of support from the BGAV, Dr. Warren said, can only strengthen what is already a mutually beneficial relationship.

"We are exceptionally proud of and devoted to our relationship with Virginia Baptists," Dr. Warren said, "and we are continually striving to strengthen that relationship, as evidenced through a variety of partnerships."

Over the past year alone, Bluefield College has partnered with Virginia Baptists on five student mission trips abroad, two strategic sessions on campus with the Emerging Leaders Team, an annual Baptist Heritage Day, and the creation of a new missionary-in-residence house on campus for Baptist missionaries on furlough.

"Bluefield College strives to be the flagship higher education institution of Virginia Baptists," Dr. Warren added, "and we want Virginia Baptists to know that we are their partner."

The new BGAV budget will go into effect January 1, 2007.

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Bluefield College Seniors Honored during Graduation Dinner

Bluefield College graduating seniors were the guests of honor during a President's Graduate Dinner, Friday, December 15, which paid tribute to the BC winter class of 2006 while encouraging the latest grads to give back to their alma mater.

Alumni Director Teresa Stanley welcomed the seniors to the Holiday Inn in Bluefield, West Virginia, for the traditional congratulatory event, while current and former BC students shared testimonies about their experiences as a student at the private Christian college.

"Honestly, I came to Bluefield College reluctantly, because it wasn't my first choice," said graduating senior Kris Hardy, who became a leader on campus during his four years at BC. "But, I quickly learned that Bluefield was a place where I would grow spiritually and develop relationships that would last a lifetime. I was surrounded by faculty and staff who cared about me. It was because of their encouragement that I stayed at Bluefield and the reason I stand here before you today. I'm thankful for Bluefield College and the difference it made in my life."

Recent Bluefield College graduate Martha Dodd-Slippy, a 2005 product of BC's adult degree-completion program, shared a similar testimony with the class of 2006. She compared herself to Emmitt Smith, the professional football Hall of Famer who, like her, went back to college to finish his bachelor's degree after being sidetracked by a career and family. Bluefield College, she said, made the realization of her dream and the aspirations of many other adult learners, possible. For that, she said, adult grads should be thankful.

"I challenge each of you to reap what you sow," Dodd-Slippy told the seniors, "and to give back to Bluefield College with your prayers, support and gifts."

Kimberly Moore, a 2000 graduate of Bluefield College's adult degree-completion program and a current member of the school's Board of Trustees, also addressed the impending alumni. Moore, a local probation officer, encouraged the seniors to view life and the opportunity for higher education as gifts from God. "What you do with those gifts now," she said, "is up to you."

"At the age of 36 with a family, I thought my opportunity to earn a college degree had passed me by," Moore added, "but Bluefield College's adult degree-completion program was God's answer to my prayers." During the dinner, Professor Don Caudill, chair of the school's Division of Organizational Management and Leadership (OML), recognized graduating seniors recently invited to be a part of BC's chapter of Sigma Beta Delta, a national business honor society, including Karen Blevins of Roanoke, Virginia; Kathy Cressel of Rural Retreat, Virginia; Harold (Bob) Harmon of Chesapeake, Virginia; Robert (Bob) McMichael of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Kellie Morris of Pearisburg, Virginia; and Bonnie Parsons of Galax, Virginia.

In addition, during the dinner each of the seniors received a gift from the college, including a dollar bill, which Dr. Caudill encouraged the seniors to return to BC as a symbol of their commitment to lifelong support of their alma mater.

"Someone helped you in your journey to achieve this college degree," Dr. Caudill told the graduates. "Parents, spouses and even children made sacrifices. In addition to my parents' sacrifices, I received scholarships and help from people I never knew. The only way I can repay those gifts is to give to scholarships for future students at Bluefield College."

Gifts from donors, Dr. Caudill said, are what make up the difference between student tuition and the real cost of a Bluefield College education. Without investments from former BC students into the lives of current BC students, he said, the BC seniors would not be where they are today.

"It takes a lot of money to have a magnificent, Christ-centered institution like Bluefield College," Dr. Caudill said. "If you choose to give back to Bluefield College, it will help future students have access to the same quality Christian higher education you received from this institution."

The President's Graduate Dinner honoring the winter class of 2006 also included special music from BC junior Andrea Newcomb. The seniors graduated during the school's 15th Annual Winter Commencement, Saturday, December 16.

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BC Pact with Danville Community College Makes Education More Accessible

Bluefield (VA) College is partnering with Danville (VA) Community College to make higher education more accessible to students in the region.

Thanks to a new articulation agreement between the two schools, undergraduate studies and the baccalaureate degree will be more accessible to students of Southwest and Southside Virginia, particularly those transferring to Bluefield from the Virginia community college.

Specifically, the pact assures students transferring from Danville Community College (DCC) to Bluefield College automatic admission, provided they have earned their associate's degree from DCC and have met all other requirements for admission to BC.

Students admitted under the terms of the agreement receive, among other benefits, a waiver of the Bluefield College application fee, the transfer of credit for all courses (up to a maximum of 68 credit hours) taken at DCC, junior standing upon enrollment, and eligibility for the Bluefield College Articulation Scholarship.

"This articulation agreement recognizes formally the special relationship that exists between Bluefield College and Danville Community College to provide higher education in Southwest and Southside Virginia," said Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, BC's vice president for academic affairs. "We value our affiliation with Danville and are well aware of the benefits it offers to the students of this region."

As part of the agreement, Danville will share the names of its graduates with BC's Admissions Office and promote the partnership and BC's academic programs among its own faculty, staff, students, and prospective students.

The articulation agreement with Danville Community College is the third of its kind for Bluefield College this year. Earlier, BC renewed an articulation agreement with Southwest Virginia Community College and inked a brand new pact with the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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Bluefield College's Campus/Community Choir Presents Handel's 'Messiah'

Bluefield College's Masterworks Chorale, a 33-member-strong music ensemble composed of voices from both the BC family and community, presented its annual Christmas concert on December 8, Handel's "Messiah," a sacred oratorio celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Taking its show on the road for the Christmas performance at First Baptist Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, BC's Masterworks Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Barbara Hudson, an assistant professor of music, offered 27 musical selections that make up George Frederic Handel's "Messiah," including solo and full chorus performances.

The choir, accompanied on organ by Susan Allen, a BC instructor of music, and on piano by Lisa Moxley, another BC instructor of music, sang "For Unto Us a Child is Born," "Worthy is the Lamb," "Hallelujah," and other selections designed by Handel to "bring glory to our Messiah."

Solo selections included "Comfort Ye My People," "Thus Saith the Lord," "Behond a Virgin Shall Conceive," "And the Angel Said Unto Them," and "I Know that My Redeemer Livith," among others, and featured soloists Charles McKenley, Oscar Gomez, Elizabeth Gomez, Ashley Neel, Emily Dempsey, Bethany Branch, Beth Spiker, Connie Bull and Andrea Newcomb.

Other members of the Masterworks Chorale included Dorothy Davenport, Janelle Glass, Betty Hudson, Renae Meadows, Carolyn Ruble, Kelcey Sarno, Tamara Stockil, Sarah Swim, Tina Ward, Janeen Webb, Joe Newton, Riel Sarno, Jonothan Stockil, Alice Cronje, Julie Glass, Pat Griffin, Amber Sarno, Macy Sarno, Rosalie Stockil, James Cather, Tim Crawford, John Griffin, Adam Lowe and Bryant Moxley.

Masterworks is a non-auditioned chorus composed of voices from both the college family (including students, faculty and staff) and the community. The group, which had been rehearsing for "Messiah" throughout BC's fall semester, performs classic choral works, such as Mozart's "Requiem," Saint-Saens' "Christmas Oratorios," and Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia."

This spring, Masterworks will perform "Music for the Stage," featuring Wagner's "The Bridal Chorus," Mascagni's "Easter Hymn," a medley from "The Music Man," and a suite from "Phantom of the Opera."

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Bluefield College Students Tapped for International Business Honor Society

Bluefield College recently announced the formation of a new Sigma Beta Delta business honor society on campus, and quickly followed that action with an invitation to 13 BC students to become charter members of the organization.

The 13 Bluefield College students were formally invited to join Sigma Beta Delta during a tapping ceremony on campus, December 4. BC's new chapter of Sigma Beta Delta, an international honor society for business majors, voted to recognize the 13 junior and senior students for their "outstanding academic achievements" in the discipline.

"As president of the Bluefield College Chapter of Sigma Beta Delta, it is my pleasure to extend this membership invitation to these students," said BC professor Dr. Don Caudill. "They will join more than 35,000 students in over 250 chapters who have been recognized with this honor."

The Bluefield College students "tapped" or invited to join Sigma Beta Delta included seven students in the traditional program for business majors: Chad Arnold of Wytheville, Virginia; Derek Bostic of Lewisburg, West Virginia; Josh Grubb of Wytheville, Virginia; Miriam Johnson of Tazewell, Virginia; Ryan Moore of Richlands, Virginia; Bryan Wohlford of Bluefield, Virginia; and Leah Woodrum of Bluefield, West Virginia.

Six other business students in the school's organizational management and leadership portion of the adult degree-completion program were also invited to be charter members of Sigma Beta Delta: Karen Blevins of Roanoke, Virginia; Kathy Cressel of Rural Retreat, Virginia; Harold (Bob) Harmon of Chesapeake, Virginia; Robert (Bob) McMichael of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Kellie Morris of Pearisburg, Virginia; and Bonnie Parsons of Galax, Virginia.

"Membership in Sigma Beta Delta is the highest honor bestowed upon business students," Dr. Caudill said during the tapping ceremony. "Only those students with an overall 3.5 grade point average qualify for membership."

The purpose of Sigma Beta Delta, added Dr. Caudill, a longtime member the international organization, is to "encourage and recognize scholarship and accomplishment among students in the discipline of business" and to "promote aspirations toward personal and professional improvement and honorable service to mankind."

"While almost 300,000 students receive bachelor's or master's degrees in business each year," Dr. Caudill said, "only about 4,000 are inducted into lifetime membership in Sigma Beta Delta."

During its formation, the new BC chapter of Sigma Beta Delta also inducted professors Dusty Anderson, Bill Shockley, and Dee Shoemaker into its society. In addition, during the tapping ceremony, the organization invited Interim President Charles Warren and Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Gomez to be a part of the BC group.

"You are being recognized for the quality of your academic accomplishments," Dr. Warren told the charter members, "but quality is not an achievement. It is not an end. You should always be striving for excellence, but never arriving."

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November

Accomplished Sculptor Offers Ceramic Workshop at Bluefield College

Bluefield College art students are learning from the best, thanks to the school's Visiting Artist Series, which most recently featured accomplished sculptor Stephen Tirone. Tirone, a professional artist from Morehead, Kentucky, offered BC students and the public at-large a workshop on ceramics and an exhibit of his work during a daylong seminar, November 17, in the Cox Visual Arts Center on campus.

Made possible through the generosity of the Community Foundation of the Virginias, the event showcased Tirone's sculpture work with marble, clay, metal, bronze and wood. In addition to working as a professional artist, Tirone teaches at Morehead State University in Kentucky where he is a professor of art. His works have been exhibited and collected regionally, nationally and internationally.

"My greatest desire from piece to piece, from commission to commission is to create my very finest artistic effort, technically, conceptually and aesthetically," Tirone said. "Each work I complete has demanded my highest level of imagination, determination, skill, knowledge, experience and a willingness to work hard to accomplish the best possible piece."

Members of the community joined BC's art students for the workshop, which, according to organizers, is just one way the college is able to address the cultural and artistic needs and interests of the campus and community."

"This event (the Tirone exhibit) is just one example of what we are able to offer our students and the community because of the generosity of the Community Foundation," said BC's Ruth Blankenship, associate vice president for institutional advancement, regarding the Community Foundation's sponsorship of the program. "The Foundation has a long history of supporting projects on our campus that help enrich the cultural life of not only the Bluefield College family, but the entire Bluefield community."

Originally from Staten Island, New York, Tirone received his bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of South Carolina and a master of arts degree in sculpture and a master of fine arts degree in ceramics from the University of Wisconsin. He is also a painter and serves as a foundry, casting bronze sculptures for other professional artists.

"We are grateful," Blankenship added, "for how the Community Foundation helps the college address the cultural and artistic needs of our campus and community."

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Community Invited to Join Bluefield College Family for Jason Elswick Scholarship Day

Bluefield College will sponsor a Jason Elswick Scholarship Day, Wednesday, December 6 as a tribute to the late Jason Elswick and to create awareness of the scholarship fund named in memory of the former BC student.

Elswick was a BC junior from Tazewell, Virginia, majoring in math education when he died in a tragic car accident in October of 2005. Shortly after their son's death, David and Pamela Elswick, along with family and friends, established the Jason Elswick Memorial Scholarship Fund at Bluefield College, designed to maintain their son's legacy on campus while providing vital financial aid for future BC students.

In fact, the Elswicks recently issued a challenge to the BC family to grow their son's Scholarship Fund. The challenge: For every dollar donated by BC faculty, staff and students to the Elswick Scholarship Fund between now and December 31, 2006, the Elswicks will match up to a cumulative total of $10,000. The Scholarship Day, organizers hope, will help increase awareness regarding the Elswick Challenge and double the contributions to the Fund.

As part of the Jason Elswick Scholarship Day, special foods, including Asian and Mexican entries, will be available for lunch and dinner in the BC cafeteria in Shott Hall. Information about the Elswick Scholarship also will be available in the dining hall, along with opportunities to contribute to the fund. Organizers say they hope the specialty food items will encourage the BC family to eat on campus on December 6 and to be a part of Jason Elswick Scholarship Day.

"We want the entire campus, our students, faculty and staff, along with the public at-large to eat in the cafeteria on this day," said Ruth Blankenship, BC's associate vice president for institutional advancement, "and while there maybe give a donation to the Scholarship Fund."

In addition, BC students will be competing in activities to raise money for the Scholarship Fund. Prizes are being offered to students who generate the most support, including an award to the floor in a BC residence hall that wins the Dorm War for cash for the Scholarship.

"Our hope is to get the community involved, as well," Blankenship added. "We want them to join us on campus for meals that day and to participate in supporting this important cause."

For more information, please call the BC Office of Student Services at 276-326-4206.

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Bluefield College Celebrates Homecoming 2006

Hundreds of Bluefield College alumni and friends swarmed the BC campus Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, to celebrate Homecoming 2006, featuring reunions, dinners, dances, an auction, a concert, basketball, and alumni awards.

Former students from as far back as 1936 and from as far away as Houston, Texas, returned to their alma mater to join current students and community friends in the weekend celebration.

"On behalf of the faculty, staff, students and trustees of Bluefield College, let me welcome you back to your alma mater," said Dr. Charles Warren, a retired educator who is serving as interim president of Bluefield College while the Board of Trustees completes its search for a new leader. "It is a year of transition for your alma mater, but it is a year filled with momentum, focus and determination."

While the former students enjoyed hearing about new academic programs and seeing new facilities and other signs of growth on campus, they took even greater pleasure in the reminiscing the weekend provided, particularly a host of grads celebrating their Golden (50th anniversary) and Silver (25th anniversary) Reunions.

"Our Golden grads have gone out of their way to get as many alumni as possible back for their reunion," said Alumni Relations Director Teresa Stanley. "They're really enjoying being together again, and that's what Homecoming is all about. It's not about the events and activities. It's about the reunions, the reminiscing and the fellowship."

The Homecoming festivities opened on Friday with a tribute to former BC music professor J.P. Jardine in the form of a memorial benefit concert designed to create awareness and raise support for the Jardine Scholarship Fund. Dozens of alumni and friends filled Harman Chapel to hear the performance of piano duettists Dr. Vernon and Nancy Cherrix, former Jardine colleagues, and to honor the legacy of the late BC music instructor.

Following the concert, the BC men's basketball team provided a Homecoming victory against Kentucky Christian College in the Dome. The Rams won 104-93. Day two of the Homecoming fun began with the increasingly popular Scholarship Auction. In what has become one of the more entertaining and well-attended events during the weekend, bidders bought vacations, weekend getaways, dinners, entertainment packages, artwork, and other donated items. In fact, the auction, managed by BC alumnus Kevin Pauley ('98) of Mechanicsville, Virginia, generated a record $10,362 for student scholarships, including $1,275 for the notorious recurring canvas painting in which alumni and friends pay to see hang year-round in the President's Office.

Annual alumni awards were presented on Saturday during the traditional Grand Reunion Luncheon. Alumni Roger Roller ('81) of Pearisburg, Virginia, and Brad ('73) and Lorrie Owen ('73) of Raleigh, North Carolina, earned Delgado Christian Service Awards. Samuel Jackson ('46) of Richmond, Virginia, and Joseph Ruddell ('43) of Houston, Texas, were inducted into the Gallery of Distinguished Graduates, while BC friend Eddie Pauley of Bluefield, Virginia, won the Volunteer of the Year Award.

The college also took advantage of the presence of the Homecoming crowd to dedicate its newest facility on campus, a Missionary-in-Residence House, created out of the restoration of the former President's Home. Many of the dozens of members of Virginia Baptist churches and associations from across the region who contributed to the renovation project were on hand to witness the culmination of this three-year-long endeavor.

Saturday's fun also included a zany basketball event featuring the Harlem Wizards against BC's men's junior varsity squad. Hundreds of basketball enthusiasts joined current and former BC students to see the "trick hoops and alley oops" of "some of the top basketball talent in the world."

Homecoming festivities concluded with an Alumni Dinner-Dance and the students' traditional Homecoming Court Dance. The alumni affair featured the recognition of couples who met at Bluefield College, including Jeff ('84) and Leslie Campbell ('83) Marsh of Harrison, Tennessee, who won the evening's door prize, a weekend getaway for two.

During the student dance, seniors Chaka Meney of Lignum, Virginia, and Kris Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia, were crowned Homecoming Queen and King, respectively. Completing the Homecoming Court were Amy Montgomery of Marion, Virginia (Junior Princess), Marie Chappelear of Bassett, Virginia (Sophomore Princess), and LeAndra Sabatino of Parksley, Virginia (Freshman Princess).

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Bluefield College Dedicates New Missionary House

What began in the fall of 2003 on the campus of Bluefield College as a simple improvement project, but eventually developed into a large-scale renovation effort involving churches and BC friends across the region culminated on November 4, 2006 in a celebration and dedication ceremony on campus.

After three years of cooperative efforts by dozens of BC friends, Bluefield College dedicated its newest facility, a Missionary-in-Residence House, created through the restoration of the school's former President's Home. Interim President Charles Warren welcomed guests to the dedication ceremony. Dr. Warren thanked the dozens of supporters who helped BC renew its commitment to the work of Baptist missionaries.

"This has been an incredible project," Dr. Warren said about the restoration of the former President's Home into a new Missionary-in-Residence facility. "What a remarkable accomplishment. How honored and blessed we are to have the dedicated friends who have contributed to this endeavor."

Originated by former Vice President of Institutional Advancement Tom Carr, the restoration of the former President's Home began in the fall of 2003 when the college decided to improve its facilities for missionaries on furlough. Missionaries serving in foreign countries are often offered a one-year sabbatical from their duties every seven years. In many cases in the past, Baptist missionaries would spend their time on furlough on the BC campus, despite the fact that the college's missionary house could accommodate only the smallest of families.

"It's amazing to see how God has provided the people and the resources just at the right time to see this project through completion," said BC Campus Minister David Taylor who spent countless hours for months as project coordinator after the departure of Carr. "I have been the one who has been blessed through all of this. I have definitely received more than I have given."

Dozens of Virginia Baptist churches, along with local Baptist associations and a score of other BC friends contributed to the restoration effort with their time, labor, materials and/or money. Together, they installed all new windows and a completely new roof, rebuilt porches and replaced gutters, installed new plumbing and restored bathrooms and a kitchen, and refinished floors and set up new heating.

Speaking on behalf of alumni supporters, BC grad Jim Jenkins spoke about the privilege of being associated with Bluefield College and the responsibility of giving back to the institution. Ruth Blankenship, associate vice president for advancement who funneled gifts from alumni like Jenkins to the renovation effort, likened the project to the movie "Field of Dreams." Thanks to faithful BC alumni and friends, she said, the missionary facility is BC's "house of dreams."

Dr. Tim Crawford, chair of BC's Division of Christian Studies offered a dedicatory prayer, and all ceremony guests participated in a tour of the facility and a reception within.

"We are thrilled to finally see this day come, when we can dedicate this new Missionary-in-Residence House," Taylor said. "A lot of people have contributed to this project, and we want to recognize them and celebrate this accomplishment."

Now fully renovated, the new missionary house will provide a larger, more accommodating rest haven for missionaries intact with five bedrooms, two and a half baths, a missionary office, living room, dining room, kitchen, and den.

"This is a beautiful home," Taylor said. "Missionaries who come to stay with us on campus will be well served by this facility. I expect there will be a waiting list for its use once word gets out about how accommodating the home is."

Affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, Bluefield College has long shared with Virginia Baptists a commitment to international missions. Through BC's Missionary-in-Residence (MIR) Program, missionaries on furlough are offered a place and a time to rest, visit family, friends and supporters, and participate in college Christian studies courses or other continuing education. The college benefits, too, as students are exposed to an actual missionary teaching Christian studies courses and sharing the realities of mission work, and the campus minister enjoys assistance with counseling students and speaking engagements.

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BC Exercise Science Students Get Hands-On Training with Pro Cyclist

Bluefield College exercise science students are getting hands-on experience in their field of study. In fact, the students are applying their classroom experiences through practical training and testing with professional athletes, like pro cyclist Shawn Altizer of the Bear Naked-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team.

Offering his athletic body and regimen as an experimental subject for the BC exercise science students, Altizer participated in a V02max fitness test on campus as a means to assess the volume of oxygen consumed and used by his body during a particular unit of time. The test is a common experiment with professional athletes interested in the measure of their body's ability to use oxygen efficiently.

"He (Altizer) has never had his V02max tested," said Doug Minnix, assistant professor of exercise science, who arranged the activity for his students, "so we thought we'd kill two birds with one stone -- test his V02max, while giving our students hands-on experience with fitness testing."

The students, exercise science majors in Dr. Minnix's therapeutic exercise class, evaluated Altizer's ability to ride a stationary bike for a prolonged period of time, and during his exercise at various intervals and with numerous instruments they measured his oxygen level, heart rate and blood pressure in order to calculate his V02max score.

"He's an incredible athlete," Minnix said about Altizer, "and for us to have the chance to see how someone like this responds physically to tests like this is good for us. He should score at an elite level."

Altizer, a native of Tazewell, Virginia, and a cross country member of the Bear Naked-Cannondale Pro Mountain Bike Race Team, has been riding bikes for about 10 years and competing professionally for about three years.

"I've been curious about what I might score," Altizer said about his first experience with the V02max test. "I've seen some of the other cyclists' scores, so I've always wondered how I would compare."

Based on preliminary findings from the students, Altizer scored in an estimated range of 60-65 on the V02max test, an excellent score, according to Minnix. Minnix said pro cyclists like Altizer typically register a V02max in the 60s. Multiple Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, he added, has scored a V02max of more than 80.

"When you score that high," Minnix said, "you generally have a genetic predisposition to use oxygen more efficiently. Training has a lot to do with it, but if you have the ability to use oxygen in the 80-range, you definitely have a distinct advantage over other athletes."

Minnix said that the students will carry on their study of fitness tests, exercise, physical therapy, and orthopedic injuries in pursuit of their degree in exercise science, but more importantly, he added, they will continue to apply their studies in practical ways through experiments like the one with Altizer.

"Our students are learning how to do practical things that they will put to good use in their careers after college," Minnix said.

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Taylor Joins BC Financial Aid Staff

The BC Financial Aid Office recently welcomed a new member to its workforce. Angel Taylor joined the staff in October as a financial aid counselor.

Taylor, a product of an adult degree program at Mountain State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership and a master's degree in strategic leadership, will work primarily with adult students seeking financial aid for BC's degree-completion program.

"Angel earned her degrees as an adult student," said Sheila Nelson-Hensley, BC's director of financial aid, "so she can empathize with our adult students as they face the challenges of maintaining work and family while earning a degree."

Taylor, who lives in Brushfork, West Virginia, and has a 15-year-old daughter at Bluefield High School, is filling a position made vacant when BC's Juleigh Bailey transferred to the Registrar's Office.

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BC Trustees Approve New Academic Programs and Campaign Initiatives

Members of the Bluefield College Board of Trustees gathered on campus, October 20-21, and during the two-day annual fall meeting, the Board approved two new academic programs for students, increased the school's impending capital campaign goal, expressed formal appreciation to the Town of Bluefield, and elected new trustees and officers for the coming year.

Endorsing the school's sixth new academic program in just one year, BC trustees voted unanimously to launch a new forensics science major within the Division of Social Sciences and a new marketing concentration as part of the communications major in the Division of Language, Literature and Communications.

"The college has been receiving inquiries from prospective students about forensic science for quite some time," said Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Gomez. "A forensic science program would take advantage of our existing strengths in the natural sciences and criminal justice."

The two new programs approved by the Board this fall follow the addition this past spring of a graphics communications major, an online teacher licensure program, a youth ministry minor, and an e-business and entrepreneurship major for adults. The six new programs this year alone bring the school's total academic offerings to 21 majors and 21 minors.

The Board of Trustees also unanimously approved a goal increase in the school's capital campaign, "Vision 2012: Promises Kept, Dreams Alive." Currently in its quiet phase with public involvement scheduled to begin in 2008, the new BC campaign is designed to provide funding for a new student activities center, endowment growth, scholarships, and other campus improvements.

Early quiet phase studies have indicated to planners that the initial campaign goal of $15.5 million falls short of the funding needed for all campaign projects. As a result, the Board approved a Campaign Planning Committee recommendation to increase the overall goal to $17 million.

In addition, during the fall session the Board unanimously approved a resolution to the Town of Bluefield, Virginia, which expresses the school's "deep appreciation" to the Town for its "exemplary efforts toward the relationship of Town and Gown." Over the past year alone, Bluefield, Virginia, has constructed a new sidewalk along College Drive from the campus to College Plaza and launched a Town-sponsored welcome back social for students beginning the new academic year.

"The Town of Bluefield, Virginia, has faithfully supported Bluefield College over the years," said Chairman of the Board Dan Grabeel, a Bluefield, Virginia native, "and generously contributed resources to sustain and grow the school."

The Board also elected new trustees and officers for the coming year and recognized the service of outgoing trustees. Dr. Grabeel, a 1955 BC alumnus and dentist from Lynchburg, Virginia, was re-elected to a one-year term as chairman of the Board, while Chip Hurley, a general district court judge from Bluefield, Virginia, was re-named vice chair, and Julie Hull Johnson, a 1988 BC alumna and financial trust officer from Bluefield, West Virginia, was re-appointed secretary.

Eight trustees were elected to new or returning terms of office on the Board, including: 1) Keith Cox, a 1978 BC alumnus and manager for Saturn in Lynchburg, Virginia, 2) Dr. Michael DuVal, a 1975 BC alumnus and pastor from Roanoke, Virginia, 3) William Hartsfield, a pastor from Covington, Virginia, 4) Margaret Newcomb Leonard, a 1955 BC alumna and retired school teacher from Blacksburg, Virginia, 5) Camden McLaughlin, a 1973 BC alumnus and owner of Medias, Inc., a sleep medicine provider, from Blacksburg, Virginia, 6) Michael Roberts, an investment manager from Roanoke, Virginia, 7) J. David Tresch, an oncologist from Douglassville, Pennsylvania, and 8) William Winfrey, an attorney from Princeton, West Virginia.

Four trustees rotating off the Board for a required one-year sabbatical after two consecutive five-year terms were recognized, including: 1) Rudy Bush, a retired public school administrator from Salem, Virginia, 2) Al Modena, a retired banker from Bluefield, Virginia, 3) Don Summerville, a 1972 BC alumnus and bi-vocational pastor from Salem, Virginia, and 4) Jack Wilson, a longtime leader in Virginia Baptist life from Lynchburg, Virginia.

In other business, the Board 1) discussed ideas for additional housing for students should the need arise in the future, in light of the fact that residence halls on campus are currently filled to capacity, 2) made a recommendation to the BC administration to begin an analysis of the condition of campus facilities to determine the need for future maintenance projects, and 3) heard from an independent auditor who spoke of the college's decreasing debt, rising net assets, and healthy financial position.

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Bluefield College Students Providing Shoes for Orphans

You have heard of the saying, "Walk a mile in someone's shoes..." but have you ever heard of the saying, "Walk without shoes?"

Bluefield College students are taking this saying to heart as they participate in a "Shoes for Orphan Souls" service-learning project. In fact, BC students are inviting the community at-large to join them in an effort to increase awareness of the need for new shoes for orphaned children.

As part of Buckner Orphan Care International's "Shoes for Orphan Souls" campaign, Bluefield College students are sponsoring a "Shoeless Sunday" event on November 12 where they are asking the entire BC family and the public at-large to go shoeless for the day. By going shoeless, the students hope to generate interest in their efforts. "We're hoping people will ask us why we have no shoes," said BC student Sharde Sherman, who is spearheading the project on campus with classmate Lissa Aleman," and then we can tell them why and encourage them to give a donation to the cause."

Sherman said members of the community who participate and raise money from the "Shoeless Sunday" effort may contact her -- by phone at 276-326-4439 or via e-mail at -- to collect the donations. She added that church youth groups can really make a difference within their congregations.

"It's a great idea for them to go shoeless and set their shoes around the church where people can drop money in them," Sherman said. "All of the money will go to Buckner, who will then purchase shoes to send to orphanages."

Buckner Orphan Care International is a century-old Christian social services agency that houses, cares for and improves the lives of millions of orphan children around the world. Since 1999, the organization's "Shoes for Orphan Souls" drive has distributed more than one million shoes to children in orphanages.

In addition to the "Shoeless Sunday" component of the "Shoes for Orphan Souls" project, the Bluefield College students have partnered with local shoe stores to encourage customers to participate in the giving. Through November 12, Foot Locker, Shoe Department, Shoe Show, and Tolley's Christian Bookstore will be encouraging shoppers to be a part of the BC program.

"This will provide extra business for local shoe stores and in return makes an impact globally," Sherman said. "Our goal is to raise at least 30 new pairs of shoes. The Bluefield community has the ability to give a little in order to make a huge impact."

The participating stores will collect the shoes purchased by generous supporters of the project, and BC students will gather the donations after November 12 to send to Buckner.

"Participants will be making a statement," Sherman said, "which reminds them of how thankful they are to have such a simple gift as shoes. It's a great opportunity for students, faculty, staff, youth groups, church leaders, and other members of the community to participate in a fun activity to benefit someone in need. When God pours out his blessings on our lives, the least we can do is pour them out onto others."

For more information on how you can participate in BC's "Shoes for Orphan Souls" service-learning project, contact Sherman by phone at 276-326-4439 or via e-mail .

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October

BC Board of Trustees Approve New Majors, Elect New Officers, and Discuss a Capital Campaign

Members of the Bluefield College Board of Trustees gathered on campus, October 20-21, and during the two-day annual fall meeting, the Board approved two new academic programs for students, increased the school's impending capital campaign goal, expressed formal appreciation to the Town of Bluefield, and elected new trustees and officers for the coming year.

Endorsing the school's sixth new academic program in just one year, BC trustees voted unanimously to launch a new forensics science major within the Division of Social Sciences and a new marketing concentration as part of the communications major in the Division of Language, Literature and Communications.

"The college has been receiving inquiries from prospective students about forensic science for quite some time," said Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Gomez. "A forensic science program would take advantage of our existing strengths in the natural sciences and criminal justice."

The two new programs approved by the Board this fall follow the addition this past spring of a graphics communications major, an online teacher licensure program, a youth ministry minor, and an e-business and entrepreneurship major for adults. The six new programs this year alone bring the school's total academic offerings to 21 majors and 21 minors.

The Board of Trustees also unanimously approved a goal increase in the school's capital campaign, "Vision 2012: Promises Kept, Dreams Alive." Currently in its quiet phase with public involvement scheduled to begin in 2008, the new BC campaign is designed to provide funding for a new student activities center, endowment growth, scholarships, and other campus improvements.

Early quiet phase studies have indicated to planners that the initial campaign goal of $15.5 million falls short of the funding needed for all campaign projects. As a result, the Board approved a Campaign Planning Committee recommendation to increase the overall goal to $17 million.

In addition, during the fall session the Board unanimously approved a resolution to the Town of Bluefield, Virginia, which expresses the school's "deep appreciation" to the Town for its "exemplary efforts toward the relationship of Town and Gown." Over the past year alone, Bluefield, Virginia, has constructed a new sidewalk along College Drive from the campus to College Plaza and launched a Town-sponsored welcome back social for students beginning the new academic year.

"The Town of Bluefield, Virginia, has faithfully supported Bluefield College over the years," said Chairman of the Board Dan Grabeel, a Bluefield, Virginia native, "and generously contributed resources to sustain and grow the school."

The Board also elected new trustees and officers for the coming year and recognized the service of outgoing trustees. Dr. Grabeel, a 1955 BC alumnus and dentist from Lynchburg, Virginia, was re-elected to a one-year term as chairman of the Board, while Chip Hurley, a general district court judge from Bluefield, Virginia, was re-named vice chair, and Julie Hull Johnson, a 1988 BC alumna and financial trust officer from Bluefield, West Virginia, was re-appointed secretary.

Eight trustees were elected to new or returning terms of office on the Board, including: 1) Keith Cox, a 1978 BC alumnus and manager for Saturn in Lynchburg, Virginia, 2) Dr. Michael DuVal, a 1975 BC alumnus and pastor from Roanoke, Virginia, 3) William Hartsfield, a pastor from Covington, Virginia, 4) Margaret Newcomb Leonard, a 1955 BC alumna and retired school teacher from Blacksburg, Virginia, 5) Camden McLaughlin, a 1973 BC alumnus and owner of Medias, Inc., a sleep medicine provider, from Blacksburg, Virginia, 6) Michael Roberts, an investment manager from Roanoke, Virginia, 7) J. David Tresch, an oncologist from Douglassville, Pennsylvania, and 8) William Winfrey, an attorney from Princeton, West Virginia.

Four trustees rotating off the Board for a required one-year sabbatical after two consecutive five-year terms were recognized, including: 1) Rudy Bush, a retired public school administrator from Salem, Virginia, 2) Al Modena, a retired banker from Bluefield, Virginia, 3) Don Summerville, a 1972 BC alumnus and bi-vocational pastor from Salem, Virginia, and 4) Jack Wilson, a longtime leader in Virginia Baptist life from Lynchburg, Virginia.

In other business, the Board 1) discussed ideas for additional housing for students should the need arise in the future, in light of the fact that residence halls on campus are currently filled to capacity, 2) made a recommendation to the BC administration to begin an analysis of the condition of campus facilities to determine the need for future maintenance projects, and 3) heard from an independent auditor who spoke of the college's decreasing debt, rising net assets, and healthy financial position.

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Bluefield College Scholarship Luncheon Connects Donors with Students

Bluefield College hosted an inaugural Donor-Student Scholarship Recognition Luncheon, Friday, October 20, honoring the donors who make scholarships possible at the school and bringing them together with the recipients of their generosity, BC students.

Interim President Charles Warren welcomed the more than 60 guests to the inaugural event. Dr. Warren shared how through the generosity of Bluefield College donors, BC distributed $1.5 million of its own institutional scholarship assistance this academic year. Three hundred eighty-nine students benefited from that assistance, he said, many of whom were a part of the Scholarship Luncheon.

"Bluefield College offers a quality, Christ-centered higher education at an affordable price," Dr. Warren said. "Just how do we do that? Through cost containment and good stewardship and especially because of the people being honored here today. We are here to say thank you and to recognize you for your generosity to Bluefield College. Our students are the beneficiaries."

Roughly 60 private individual scholarship funds, excluding all state and federal grants and loans, are available for students at Bluefield College, thanks to donors who contribute to the school, like Dr. T. Keith Edwards, who spoke during the luncheon.

"Bluefield College is a place where men and women feel called to Christian education, just like a pastor feels called to vocational ministry," said Dr. Edwards, who shared more than a donor's perspective considering he once served BC as interim president. "The faculty and staff here invest their lives into this institution and into the students of this college. That's why my wife, Alice, and I invest in Bluefield College."

Dr. Edwards, who also serves on the school's Board of Trustees, added that he and his wife established their scholarship fund at Bluefield College in order to provide assistance to students who might not otherwise have access to a college education -- students like Scott Quirin, a scholarship recipient who offered a beneficiary's perspective during the luncheon.

"What a blessing it (the scholarship assistance) has been for me," said Quirin, a sophomore from Roanoke, Virginia. "With the cost of college today, I don't think I could have attended BC without scholarships. Any and every scholarship is important."

And, just about any and every donor who has established a scholarship fund at Bluefield College took advantage of the opportunity to appreciate the return on their investment as the donors were seated for lunch with the products of their giving -- BC students. Vice President for Institutional Advancement Harold Hazen spoke, too, about the significance of bringing the donors together with their beneficiaries.

"Tuition at Bluefield College covers just about 80 percent of the cost of an education," Hazen said. "You, BC donors, make up the difference. Thank you for standing in the gap for these students."

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Accomplished Sculptor to Offer Ceramic Workshop at Bluefield College

Whether it's marble, clay, metal, bronze or wood, Stephen Tirone can mold, shape, chisel and carve a mound into a masterpiece. And, on Friday, November 17, Tirone will demonstrate his expertise during an art exhibit and workshop at Bluefield College.

As part of BC's Fine Arts Series and Visiting Artist Schedule, Tirone will offer his workshop and exhibit in the school's Visual Arts Center, beginning at 10 a.m. and running throughout the day. The workshop and exhibit are open and free to the public, thanks to the Community Foundation of the Virginias.

"Because of the Community Foundation of the Virginias' continued support of fine arts at Bluefield College, funds have been made available to showcase the literary talents of regional writers and artists," said BC's Ruth Blankenship, associate vice president for institutional advancement, regarding the Community Foundation's sponsorship. "This event (the Tirone exhibit) is just one example of what we are able to offer our students and the community because of the generosity of the Community Foundation."

In addition to working as a professional sculptor, Tirone teaches at Morehead State University in Kentucky where he is a professor of art. His works -- made from marble, bronze, clay, metal and wood -- have been exhibited and collected regionally, nationally and internationally. He is also a painter and serves as a foundry, casting bronze sculptures for other professional artists.

"My greatest desire from piece to piece, from commission to commission is to create my very finest artistic effort, technically, conceptually and aesthetically," Tirone said. "Each work I complete has demanded my highest level of imagination, determination, skill, knowledge, experience and a willingness to work hard to accomplish the best possible piece."

Originally from Staten Island, New York, Tirone received his bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of South Carolina and a master of arts degree in sculpture and a master of fine arts degree in ceramics from the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to Tirone's ceramic workshop and exhibit, Blankenship added that because of the generosity of the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Bluefield College has been able in the past to encourage and strengthen musical and artistic skills of area youth through its summer Fine Arts Camp and other artistic events.

"The Community Foundation has a long history of supporting projects on our campus that help enrich the cultural life of not only the Bluefield College family, but the entire Bluefield community," Blankenship said. "We are grateful for how the Foundation helps the college address the cultural and artistic needs of our campus and community."

Art enthusiasts from the public at-large are invited to join the Bluefield College family for the ceramic workshop. For more information, please call the BC Office of Public Relations at 276-326-4212.

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Bluefield College Students Attend Homeland Security Conference

Four Bluefield College students joined two BC professors in attending a Homeland Security Conference in September at Radford University.

The conference, titled "Remembering Victims, Protecting Survivors," featured regional and national experts on security and terrorism. The students who benefited from the expert lectures and workshops included Chelsea Smith, Tim Paul, Ashlea Canning and Lisa Robinson. Criminal justice professors Dr. Kim Farmer and Dr. Kelly Walls accompanied the students on the trip.

The conference, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, was designed to bring members of the scholarly, policy and practitioner communities together to examine national and international issues related to homeland security and terrorism.

The keynote speaker for the event was Randy Beardsworth, assistant secretary for strategic plans for the United States Department of Homeland Security. Other speakers included Robert P. Crouch, the assistant to the governor for Commonwealth preparedness.

As participants of the conference, the Bluefield College students were able to take part in panel discussions on "Global Connections and Interdependence in the Age of Terror," "The Convergence of Political Extremism and Militant Islam," "Disaster Mitigation and Management," "Creating and Maintaining a Culture of Preparedness," "The Impact of September 11 on Emergency Planning, Response, and Recovery in Southwest Virginia," "Confidentiality, Availability and Integrity in the Age of Cyber Terror," and "Liberty and Security: Balancing Rights in a Terrorist World."

The conference also included the presentation of "Points of Reflection," a collection of images, spoken word and music related to September 11. Among the works displayed was a collection entitled "The Day Our World Changed: Children's Art of 9/11."

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Bluefield College Alumni and Friends Invited to BGAV Breakfast (Discussion to Include the BGAV's Proposed Cut in BC Funding)

Alumni and friends of Bluefield College are invited to a BC breakfast in conjunction with the upcoming Annual Convention of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV).

The Bluefield College breakfast for alumni and friends will take place Thursday, November 9 at 7:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1900 Pavilion Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia (near the Convention Center).

In addition to food and fellowship, BC trustees and administrators will be discussing the BGAV's proposed budgetary cut of about $146,000 in funding for Bluefield College -- down more than 50 percent from approximately 288,000 a year ago.

During a meeting in October of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board (VBMB), the BGAV unveiled its proposed budget for 2007, reflecting a number of increases and decreases for BGAV agencies due to a change in the BGAV's funding formula made by this year's Budget Committee.

While proposed allocations for the majority of BGAV-affiliated academic institutions -- like Fork Union Military Academy, Hargrave Military Academy and Oak Hill Academy -- are higher than or about the same compared to a year ago, proposed funding numbers for Virginia Intermont College and Bluefield College are down, particularly for BC.

"Our support from the BGAV will go from roughly $288,000 in fiscal year 2005-2006 to $142,000 for 2006-2007," said Dr. Charles Warren, interim president of Bluefield College, "and that's on top of about a $12,000 reduction the year before."

Dr. Warren said the drop in BC's funding from $300,000 to $142,000 over the course of two years is equivalent to a loss of 14 students paying full tuition at Bluefield College, or in other words, 11 percent of the entire BC freshman class.

"Bluefield College is exceptionally proud of and devoted to its relationship with Virginia Baptists," Dr. Warren said, "as evidenced through a variety of partnerships. But, while we remain dedicated to our BGAV covenant, we are extremely concerned about the recent proposed change in the budget formula. This new policy will have serious consequences on Bluefield College."

Over the past year alone, Bluefield College has partnered with Virginia Baptists on five student mission trips abroad, two strategic sessions on campus with the Emerging Leaders Team, an annual Baptist Heritage Day, and the creation of a new missionary-in-residence house on campus for Baptist missionaries on furlough.

"We are continually striving to strengthen our relationship with the BGAV," Dr. Warren said. "Bluefield College strives to be the flagship higher education institution of Virginia Baptists, and we want Virginia Baptists to know that we are their partner, but we are concerned about the reduction in support."

Dr. Warren quickly added that he does not believe the proposed cut in funding for BGAV-affiliated colleges is the sign of a philosophical shift by Virginia Baptists, despite seeing the organization's funding go from roughly $900,000 for three colleges three years ago to a proposed $284,000 for two colleges for the upcoming fiscal year. However, he said, it does still present the college with a precipitous challenge.

"On the surface, the change in the budget formula seems to treat all BGAV agencies the same," the interim president said, "but what it fails to do is recognize the effects on each specific category. Our category (Baptist undergraduate colleges) suffers significantly, while no other category in the budget experiences the same level of decline in support."

The Bluefield College breakfast for alumni and friends, Thursday, November 9 at 7:30 a.m. in conjunction with the BGAV Annual Convention, will give BC trustees and administrators the opportunity to share their concerns about the proposed budget reduction. With the support of alumni and friends, the school hopes to persuade the BGAV, at best, to fully restore its funding or, at least, phase in the reduction in funds over an extended period of time.

The cost for the breakfast is $13, but a limited number of complimentary tickets are available for alumni and friends. For tickets or to RSVP, contact the BC Office of Public Relations via e-mail at or by phone at 276-326-4212.

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BC Professor Tours West Virginia Mountaintop Removal Sites

BC Professor Rob Merritt was one of 20 educators and writers to recently participate in a tour of mountaintop removal sites in West Virginia.

Sponsored by the West Virginia Writers Association, the tour was designed to give the writers an opportunity to gain a better understanding of mountaintop removal, to interact with people whose lives are affected by mountaintop removal, and to inspire the writers to use their skills to respond to the experience.

Dr. Merritt, a BC professor of English, joined the likes of West Virginia Poet Laureate Irene McKinney, award-winning novelist Denise Giardina and poet Delilah O'Haynes on the project.

Together, they toured sites on Kayford Mountain near Charleston, West Virginia, to view mountaintop removal first hand. They also met residents from Mingo, Logan, Lincoln, Boone and Raleigh Counties who live in the shadow of strip mining operations. Parts of the tour also included aerial observations of mountaintop removal from a small aircraft.

Following the tour, the writers gathered to compose a statement regarding their encounter with mountaintop removal.

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Bluefield College Athletes Give Back to Community

Members of the Bluefield College Lady Rams basketball team are doing more than just preparing for the 2006-2007 season. The ladies are taking time out of their busy practice and class schedules to give back to the community through service and volunteerism at the Wade Center in Bluefield, West Virginia.

As part of the Bluefield College Department of Athletics' commitment to service learning and the principles of the NAIA's Champions of Character program, 11 members of BC's women's basketball team are volunteering to support an after-school program at the Wade Center.

According to Lady Rams head coach Cheryl Fielitz, the players are helping local kids with homework assignments and other school projects. Most of all, she said, the athletes are giving back to the community that supports them on the court.

"Athletes are called upon to do many things, and its tough to balance the responsibilities between being a student and an athlete," Coach Fielitz said. "But, these young ladies are taking time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community, and I'm proud of that."

The student-athletes, Coach Fielitz said, are spending a little more than an hour a day at the Wade Center. She said the Lady Rams have interacted and built relationships with about 60 kids from the community. And, while she admits the children are learning the importance of school, the Lady Rams, she added, are gaining a better understanding of the value of service to others.

"The players are realizing just how much they are looked up to by younger kids," Coach Fielitz said. "It also helps them count the blessings they have."

According to Coach Fielitz, who also serves as athletics director (AD) at Bluefield College, every BC athletic team takes part in a variety of community service projects during the year. In fact, each sport, she said, commits to one month or four weeks of community outreach.

"It's just a way to get our entire Athletic Department involved in civic outreach," Coach Fielitz said. "These types of activities teach the athletes to put service above self, the importance of relationships, and the positive influence you can have on people."

The Lady Rams participating in the service project at Wade include Jessica Brokaw of Lexington, Ohio; Courtney Seamon of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Ewa Bartkowiak of Olsztyn, Poland; Alysha Cornell of Mansfield, Ohio; Kalya Lewis of Pulaski, Virginia; Paige Morrison of Mt. Gilead, Ohio; Katana Mullen of Hinton, West Virginia; Leslie Cook of Mullens, West Virginia; Annaie Williams of Columbus, Ohio; Jordonne Bostic of Alderson, West Virginia; and Merisha Cline of Clover, South Carolina.

The BC women's basketball team also plans to conduct mini-clinics at the Wade Center later this year and to volunteer at the Union Mission in Bluefield, West Virginia.

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Virginia Baptist Male Chorale Performs at Bluefield College

The Virginia Baptist Male Chorale shared its music ministry with students, faculty, staff and friends of Bluefield College during a concert on the BC campus, Tuesday, October 17 in Harman Chapel. Representing more than 20 Baptist churches across the Commonwealth, the Virginia Baptist Male Chorale shared a wide variety of music, including Renaissance and Baroque selections, traditional anthems, hymns, spirituals and contemporary songs. The event, according to BC organizers, is just one example of the strength of the relationship between the college and Virginia Baptists.

"We are thankful for the relationship we have with Virginia Baptists," said Bryant Moxley, chair of BC's Department of Music. "This concert is just one of the many ways in which we come together in support of one another's ministry. Very seldom do we have the opportunity to host representatives from 20 BGAV churches right here on campus."

Organized in 1963, the Virginia Baptist Male Chorale is committed to providing an excellent musical experience for its members and audiences, which glorify and honor God and share the good news of Jesus Christ throughout Virginia and the world.

More than 260 men have been active members of the Virginia Baptist Chorale, singing more than 160 concerts in churches and other venues throughout Virginia, the Southeast, and even Austria and the Czech Republic. The Chorale, open to all men who are or who have been full-time staff members in Virginia Baptist churches, participates each spring and fall in a short mini-tour, singing in Virginia Baptist churches and institutions, like Bluefield College.

"We appreciate the invitation to sing at Bluefield College," said Rev. Thomas B. Ingram, director of the Chorale. "We are grateful for the opportunity to be here."

The Chorale also sings for statewide Virginia Baptist gatherings as requested. They have performed for the Southern Baptist WMU Convention, the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference, and the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2002, 20 members of the group shared in a musical partnership mission trip to Austria and the Czech Republic. In 2006, other Chorale members led workshops on a musical partnership mission trip to Rome, Assisi and Florence, Italy.

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Bluefield College Celebrates Seventh Annual Baptist Heritage Day

Bluefield College celebrated its history, Wednesday, October 4 with an annual Baptist Heritage Day ceremony on campus featuring a keynote address from an authority on history, Dr. Fred Anderson, executive director of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society.

For the seventh consecutive year, Bluefield College students set aside time in the midst of their busy academic schedules to celebrate the school's heritage. The occasion, according to BC organizers, is designed "to help students, faculty, staff and the community remember that Bluefield College is a Baptist college," and as a Baptist-affiliated institution there are "certain ideals the college cherishes and celebrates."

Each year during the celebration the college presents a guest lecturer to speak to students, faculty, staff and friends. The lecturers are typically state or nationally known guests who speak about the principles that are important to Baptists.

This year, Dr. Anderson, who also is the executive director of the Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies and a member of the Heritage Commission of the Baptist World Alliance, spoke about the pioneers of the Virginia Baptist church.

In his remarks, he shared the story of John Mason Pilcher, the first Virginia Baptist state missionary who traveled some 1.4 million miles across the Commonwealth sharing the Baptist faith. In fact, Dr. Anderson titled his speech to the Heritage Day crowd, "Out of the Saddlebag: A Lesson on Baptist Principles," and to demonstrate his message he brought along the original saddlebag used by Pilcher to carry Bibles on his trips.

Dr. Anderson, who is credited for the development of the technique of historical character portrayals as a medium to teach Baptist history, shared details about the creation of the first Baptist church in Virginia in the late 1790s and the development of the first Baptist churches in southwest Virginia, beginning with Princeton Missionary Baptist Church, Bundy's Chapel, Pocahontas Baptist Church, Tazewell Baptist Church, and Bluefield (WV) Baptist Church.

"The pioneers, like John Mason Pilcher, helped establish these churches," Dr. Anderson said. "They loaded their saddlebags with Baptist documents and traveled the entire state sharing Baptist principles. It was these principles that created the foundation of the Baptist church."

Dr. Anderson, clerk for the Baptist General Association of Virginia, spoke about some of the principles dear to Baptists, including a firm belief in the Bible as God's word, the organization of churches into democratic congregations, the belief in a personal relationship with God without the need for an intercessory, and religious liberty provided through the separation of church and state.

"We live in a world of religious warfare," Dr. Anderson said, "and the one freedom that has made America different from the world is religious freedom. It is a trophy won by Virginia Baptists in the 1800s."

The author of nine Baptist history books and the writer of hundreds of heritage columns for The Religious Herald, Dr. Anderson also shared a story about the excitement of his toddler grandson's first visit to his workplace, the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. When he asked his grandson why he was so excited about visiting the Society, the little boy responded that it was because he loved God and he loved to hear more about God's story.

"All this time I thought I was telling and writing stories about Baptists," Dr. Anderson said in regard to his grandson's reference to God's story. "But, my grandson is right. The stories I tell are God's stories -- stories about how God is doing His work through a group of people called Baptists."

The pioneers of the Baptist Faith, Dr. Anderson concluded, brought more than just the Gospel to southwest Virginia and other parts of the state. They brought saddlebags full of values and principles important to the people. As a result, he said, we should feel some obligation to help preserve these time-honored principles.

"What do we owe the pioneers of Virginia?" Dr. Anderson asked. "Respect and remembrance and reassurance that we will safeguard and pass these principles on to the next generation."

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Bluefield College Theatre to Present Huckleberry Finn

From Ebenezer Scrooge to Jesus of Nazareth to Rip Van Winkle, the most fascinating characters have graced the theatre stage at Bluefield College. This fall's drama production will be no different as BC Theatre presents "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

The six-day production based on the novel by Mark Twain is scheduled for Thursday through Tuesday, October 26-31. The shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. each night in BC's Harman Chapel, except Sunday, October 29, which will be an afternoon matinee at 2 p.m. BC Theatre's fall rendition of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was adapted from Mark Twain's beloved novel of the same name. The play tells the story of a young boy, Huck Finn, who makes the journey to manhood after he runs away from his abusive father. Alongside Jim, a runaway slave hoping to make it to the free states where he can begin a new life, Huck takes his adventures to the Mississippi River. With Jim, he faces trials and struggles, and from Jim he learns the true meaning of freedom and the true worth of a man.

The Bluefield College cast for Huckleberry Finn features Luke Stevens as Huck Finn and Trey Brown as Jim. Other cast members include Jesse Stevens as Tom Sawyer, Charon Schlobohm as Miss Watson, Brittany Doss as Widow Douglas, Tim Kerr as Ben Rogers, William Workman as Joe Harper, Michael Yates as Dr. Robinson, Nikki Hall as Judith Loftus, Greg Kerr as Uncle Silas, Jonathan Hall as Jake, John Gomez as Buck Grangerford, Rachel Russo as Mrs. Grangerford, Alyce Loeser as Sophia, Melissa Kerr as Emmeline, Dustin Shattuck as King, Marcus Vaughn as Duke, Emily Dempsey as Mary Jane Wilkes, Danielle Workman as Joanna Wilkes, and Brenda Workman as Aunt Sally.

Other participants include Ashley Voegtley, Kara Woodward, Jen Holbrook, Christy Flowers, Sarah Moxley, Delyn Bull and Hannah Stevens as townspeople, and Christopher Wade, Ryan Wade, Joel Madison and Michael Madison as boys. The stage manager for Huckleberry Finn is Stacey Mickens. Her assistant is Kourtney Stump. Admission at the door for all performances of this fall's Huck Finn will be $5 for adults and $2.50 for students or seniors. Members of the Bluefield College family will be admitted for free with a valid BC ID.

For more information, please contact the Bluefield College Office of Public Relations by phone at 276-326-4212 or by e-mail at .

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Bluefield College Homecoming 2006: 'You Are the Essential Piece'

Take the traditional reunions and reminiscing, along with the romance of couple matches made on campus in years past. Add in a memorial benefit concert and the bidding and bantering of the Scholarship Auction. Include Rams intercollegiate basketball and hard-court mania from the Harlem Wizards. And, don't forget the most essential piece of the puzzle -- you -- and together it all makes up an exciting, nostalgic, action-filled weekend known as Bluefield College's Homecoming 2006.

The dates have been set -- Friday and Saturday, November 3-4 -- and the schedule has been completed, and a host of both old and new activities are on the agenda for BC's Homecoming 2006, open to the college community and the public at-large.

The fun begins on Friday, November 3 at 7 p.m. with a tribute event: the J.P. Jardine Memorial Benefit Concert in the recently renovated Harman Chapel. The benefit concert, open to all, will include a four-hands piano performance featuring former BC music professor Dr. Vernon Cherrix. Cost for the show is $10, but all proceeds from the event will go to support the J.P. Jardine Memorial Scholarship Fund. A reception will follow the concert.

The action continues at 8:30 p.m. with a BC men's basketball game against Kentucky Christian College in the Dome. Homecoming Court candidates will be presented at halftime of the game, and following the hard-court action, the community is invited to join the BC family outside the Dome for a Homecoming Bonfire Celebration.

On Saturday, November 4, the fun resumes with the increasingly popular Scholarship Auction, open to everyone and beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Shott Hall and featuring vacations, dinners, art, entertainment, and professional sports tickets up for bid in a live auction setting hosted by alumnus and auctioneer Kevin Pauley.

Proceeds from the auction go to support the BC Fund for Scholarships. Alumni and friends from the community who wish to contribute may still donate items to be auctioned by calling 276-326-4555. Repeat participants will want to watch for the president's notorious canvas.

Alumni are then invited to the Grand Reunion Luncheon at noon in Shott Hall, featuring a Golden Anniversary Reunion for the class of 1956, a Silver Anniversary Reunion for the class of 1981 and other highlighted reunions for the classes of 1996, 1986, 1976, 1966, 1956, and 1946. The Grand Reunion will also include class pictures and the presentation of distinguished alumni awards.

BC's women's basketball team will take to the Dome floor at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday for a pre-season scrimmage, followed at 3 p.m. by the zany basketball action of the Harlem Wizards, said to be "an awe-inspiring basketball experience for all," featuring some of the top basketball talent in the world in a game of "trick hoops and alley oops." Admission is free for alumni and $5 for the public.

The fun continues on Saturday with an Alumni Dinner-Dance at 6:30 p.m. in Shott Hall, featuring recognition for couples who met at Bluefield College. Door prizes, including a weekend getaway for a BC couple, will also be offered during the Alumni Dinner-Dance.

Homecoming 2006 will conclude with the students' version of the Homecoming Dance, also open to alumni. This Homecoming Dance, at the Holiday Inn at 9:30 p.m., will include the crowning of the 2006 Homecoming Court.

For more details, call the BC Alumni Office at 276-326-4555. Be sure to make your reservations right away. After all, you are the most essential piece of the Homecoming puzzle.

Bluefield College Homecoming 2006: Schedule of Events

Friday, November 3

J.P. Jardine Memorial Benefit Concert and Reception, 7 PM
Men's Basketball Game vs. Kentucky Christian College, 8:30 PM
Homecoming Bonfire Celebration, 10:30 PM

Saturday, November 4

Scholarship Auction, 9:30 AM
Campus Tours, 11:30 AM
Grand Reunion Luncheon (featuring alumni awards), 12 PM
Women's Basketball Scrimmage, 1:30 PM
Harlem Wizards Basketball, 3 PM
Alumni Dinner and Dance (featuring BC couples), 6:30 PM
Homecoming Dance (featuring the Homecoming Court), 9:30 PM

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Virginia Baptist Male Chorale to Perform at Bluefield College

The Virginia Baptist Male Chorale will perform live in concert on the campus of Bluefield College, Tuesday, October 17 at 12:15 p.m. in Harman Chapel. The lunchtime concert is open and free to the public.

Representing more than 30 Baptist churches across the Commonwealth, the Virginia Baptist Male Chorale sings a wide variety of music, including Renaissance and Baroque selections, traditional anthems, hymns, spirituals and contemporary songs. Organized in 1963, the group is committed to providing an excellent musical experience for its members and audiences, which glorify and honor God and share the good news of Jesus Christ throughout Virginia and the world.

More than 260 men have been active members of the Virginia Baptist Chorale, singing more than 160 concerts in churches and other venues throughout Virginia, the Southeast, and even Austria and the Czech Republic. The Chorale, open to all men who are or who have been full-time staff members in Virginia Baptist churches, participates each spring and fall in a short mini-tour, singing in Virginia Baptist churches and institutions, like Bluefield College.

The Chorale also sings for statewide Virginia Baptist gatherings as requested. They have performed for the Southern Baptist WMU Convention, the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference, and the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2002, 20 members of the group shared in a musical partnership mission trip to Austria and the Czech Republic. In 2006, other Chorale members led workshops on a musical partnership mission trip to Rome, Assisi and Florence, Italy.

Members of the Virginia Baptist Male Chorale who will be performing on the campus of Bluefield College on October 17 include:

Fred Adkins of Immanuel Baptist Church, Colonial Heights
James Allcock of Heritage Baptist Church, Farmville
Donald Ambrose of Hayes, Virginia
Tom Baynham of Chesterfield, Virginia
Paul Brill of Ox Hill Baptist Church, Chantilly
David Cameron of Chatham Heights Baptist Church, Martinsville
Mark Cooke of Manassas, Virginia
Brian Crowe of Ridge Baptist Church, Richmond
Robert Crute of Warrenton Baptist Church, Warrenton
Parke Deans of Abingdon Baptist Church, Abingdon
Jimmie Durham of Culpeper, Virginia
David Fitzgerald of Grandin Court Baptist Church, Roanoke
Steve Gibson of Franklin Baptist Church, Franklin
Barry Green of Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke
Jerry Harris of Richmond, Virginia
Stan Hicks of Newport News, Virginia
Seth Hix of North Riverside Baptist Church, Newport News
Thomas Ingram of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board
Michael Jennings of Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church, Richmond
Randy Kent of West Lynchburg Baptist Church, Lynchburg
Kevin Lamb of Virginia Heights Baptist Church, Roanoke
Mark Landry of Liberty Baptist Church, Appomattox
William Miller of Second Baptist Church, Richmond
Chris Monroe of Vinton Baptist Church, Vinton
Bryant Moxley of First Baptist Church, Bluefield, West Virginia
Joe Northen of First Baptist Church, Danville
James Peak of Gayton Baptist Church, Richmond
Gerry Robinson of Starling Avenue Baptist Church, Martinsville
Jake Roudebush of North Roanoke Baptist Church, Roanoke
Willard Sawyer of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Colonial Heights
David Shreve of Manly Memorial Baptist Church, Lexington
Chris Sloan of Chamberlayne Baptist Church, Richmond
Ray Strickland of First Baptist Church, Charlottesville
Paul Sweet of Front Royal, Virginia
Nelson Taylor of Walnut Grove Baptist Church, Mechanicsville
Robert Wheeler of Keswick, Virginia

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BC Christian Emphasis Week Encourages Students to Live out Their Faith

Bluefield College students were encouraged to be more than just Christians in word and to live out their faith when renowned coach and counselor Dr. Kent Fishel spoke on campus during the school's Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week, September 27-29.

For the 15th consecutive year, thanks to the generosity of Drs. Gene and Jane Duremdes of Princeton, West Virginia, Bluefield College students took part in the three-day series of instructional and challenging sessions that make up the traditional fall Christian Emphasis Week. Dr. Fishel - whose participation in the program was made possible by the Duremdes, who each year sponsor the faith event to give BC students and the community the opportunity to "examine their spiritual lives" and to "seek answers to life-impacting questions" - said he was thankful for the invitation, but hopeful he would be just an instrument of God.

"My being here is not important," said Dr. Fishel, a successful high school coach who counsels professional athletes through his faith-based company Discipleship, Inc. "What is important is that the Holy Spirit is here. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit speak to you during our time this week."

Dr. Fishel said that his goal as keynote speaker for Christian Emphasis Week was to give students a better understanding of who God is and how God can make a difference in their lives. He encouraged the students to be more than just professing Christians, but instead to live out their faith in Jesus Christ.

"Faith in Jesus Christ is a lot more than just coming to chapel or quoting scripture," Dr. Fishel told the students. "It's taking the truth of God and putting it into your heart and then living it out in your lives."

While the Bible tells us that we are saved by faith and not by works, Dr. Fishel said, it does not mean there should be no evidence of good works in our lives. Being saved, he said, should result in good works.

"As Christians, we should bear fruit from our faith," he said. "Good works should follow."

During three separate morning lectures and one evening session, Dr. Fishel -- who has spoken to students around the world and who is the author of 10 books, including The Breakthrough Series and The Extreme Faith Devotional Bible -- encouraged BC students to be "in the world" and not "of the world. A recent study, he said, showed that only nine percent of evangelical Christians surveyed believe that the Bible is absolute truth. Only 50 percent of those same evangelical Christians believe in hell, while 65 percent believe that people from all religions pray to the same God.

"We've twisted our faith and mixed our Christian view with the world's view, and that's dangerous," said Dr. Fishel, a onetime Indiana State Boys Tennis Coach of the Year and Indiana State Boys Track Coach of the Year. "Don't let the world convince you that its way is better than God's way. Surrender your life to Jesus. I assure you that following Christ - even if it takes you down a path of pain and suffering - is more fulfilling than all the stuff this world has to offer."

Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week began on the Bluefield College campus in the fall of 1992, thanks to the "special calling" sensed by the Duremdes to "share with the students of Bluefield College some of the blessings [they] have received from the Lord."

"This is a time where students are challenged to grow in their walk with Christ," said BC Campus Minister David Taylor. "It's an opportunity for every Bluefield College student and for members of the local community to have an authentic invitation to encounter and receive the Lord Jesus Christ."

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Bluefield College Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

Bluefield College recently welcomed several new full-time faculty and staff to the BC family to start the fall 2006 semester. Four new full-time instructors joined the college this fall, while 12 new employees were added to the administrative staff since the fall of 2005.

Dr. Brad Bull came to Bluefield College as an assistant professor of psychology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he earned his doctorate degree in human ecology with child and family studies emphasis. He also has teaching experience from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, where he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology. Dr. Bull is a also a licensed marriage and family therapist who earned a master's degree in divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. Barbara Hudson joined the BC faculty as an assistant professor of music. She came to BC after teaching previously at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, Trevecca Nazarene University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She holds a doctoral degree in music from the University of Mississippi, a master's degree in music from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, and a bachelor's degree in music education and choral music from James Madison University.

Phyllis Owens came to BC as an instructor of education after gathering teaching experience from Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia, and the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. She holds a master's degree in English from Radford College in Radford, Virginia, and a bachelor's degree in education from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. She also taught for many years in the McDowell County (WV) School System.

Dr. Elizabeth Smith joined BC's faculty as an instructor of Spanish. Her previous teaching experience includes 17 years with Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, Virginia, and one year at Wytheville Community College in Wytheville, Virginia. She also spent three summers in Emory, Virginia, as a Spanish instructor for Emory and Henry College's Summer Scholars Program for middle school students. She holds a doctorate degree and a master's degree in community college education and modern languages from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She's also earned post-graduate credits in French and Spanish from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and holds a bachelor's degree in French from Western Carolina University in Asheville.

The college also welcomed 13 new full-time staff members for the fall 2006 term, including: Bryan Frazier, office assistant for enrollment management; Kris Hardy, resident director; Harold Hazen, vice president for institutional advancement; Sheila Nelson-Hensley, director of financial aid; Mark Hipes, admissions counselor; Steve Laraba, head men's soccer coach; Jerold Meadows, vice president for administration and finance; Amanda Parks, financial aid processor; David Perron, head women's soccer coach; Tabitha Price, library reference assistant; Vanessa Scruggs, receptionist for institutional advancement; Mike White, head men's baseball coach; and Brenda Workman, coordinator of the Fine Arts Community School.

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September

Shoemaker Named Chair of Division of Business

The BC Division of Business has a new chair. Dee Shoemaker, an assistant professor of business, was recently appointed to the position by Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Gomez.

"I am pleased to announce that Dee will serve as chair of the Division of Business," Dr. Gomez said. "I know she will do well, and I know the professors in this division will be supportive of her as she takes on this new responsibility."

Shoemaker joined the BC faculty in the fall of 2000. Before that, she was director of marketing for the school's adult degree-completion program. Her experience also includes six years in corporate banking as a director of marketing and human resources and several years of teaching for National College of Business and Technology.

"I'm excited about this new opportunity," Shoemaker said. "This is my first experience on the administrative side of academics; so I'm looking forward to learning about the different aspects."

Shoemaker holds a master's degree in business administration from Virginia Tech and her bachelor's degree in business management from Wake Forest University. In addition to her chair and teaching duties with traditional students in the Division of Business, she teaches in BC's organizational management and leadership (OML) portion of the adult degree-completion program.

"I am blessed to have wonderful professors within the Division of Business," she said, "which will inevitably make this transition much easier. I am, however, a little worried," she added lightheartedly, "that I received more condolences from the faculty than congratulations. I hope that's not a bad sign."

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Local Colleges Partner to Make Undergraduate and Medical Studies More Accessible to Area Students

Two new articulation agreements between local institutions of higher education will benefit Bluefield College students coming and going.

A brand new articulation pact with the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Blacksburg, Virginia, will assist Bluefield College graduates wishing to pursue a post-graduate medical degree.

And, an articulation renewal between Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia, and Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, Virginia, will benefit students transferring to Bluefield from the local community college.

The union between Bluefield College and the Edward Via College of Medicine is designed to help alleviate the limited opportunities available for students from rural areas to attend medical school. The agreement offers a Bluefield College graduate who meets all requirements of the accord early acceptance to VCOM. In fact, VCOM will guarantee early admission annually to five BC students who earn a grade point average of 3.4 or greater and meet the VCOM requirements for admission.

"Bluefield College has a good track record of graduates being admitted to the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine," said Dr. Greg Kerr, professor and chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics at BC. "In fact, we've had grads admitted in each of the first three years VCOM has been open, and this partnership should only increase those numbers. I'm really excited about this agreement."

VCOM will interview any student Bluefield recommends to the early acceptance program after the student has gained 60 hours of the required courses and meets all technical, health, and academic admission standards, including successful completion of the medical college admission test (MCAT). The agreement, Dr. Kerr added, facilitates the admissions process for the Bluefield College graduate seeking to enter medical school. It allows the student to focus on their undergraduate studies, he said, and it essentially guarantees the successful Bluefield College pre-med student a spot in medical school.

"This articulation agreement is a great opportunity for our students," Dr. Kerr said. "Now a student can know from the beginning of their studies at BC that if they do well in their courses and meet the other requirements, there is a spot waiting for them in medical school."

VCOM, accredited by the national accrediting body for osteopathic colleges of medicine, is an osteopathic medical college requiring four years of education, one year with primarily biomedical courses and three years with primarily clinical courses and training, the completion of which earns a graduate a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree. Bluefield College is a private four-year liberals arts college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer the baccalaureate degree, including a bachelor of science degree in pre-medicine studies.

The articulation agreement renewed between Bluefield College and Southwest Virginia Community College (SWVCC) is designed to make undergraduate studies and the baccalaureate degree more accessible to local students. Specifically, the pact assures students transferring from Southwest Virginia Community College to Bluefield College automatic admission, provided they have earned their associate's degree from SWVCC and have met all other requirements for admission to BC.

Students admitted under the terms of the BC-SWVCC agreement receive, among other benefits, a waiver of the Bluefield College application fee, the transfer of credit for all courses (up to a maximum of 68 credit hours) taken at SWVCC, junior standing upon enrollment, and eligibility for the Bluefield College Articulation Scholarship.

"This articulation agreement recognizes formally the special relationship that exists between Bluefield College and Southwest Virginia Community College to provide higher education to the students of our region," said Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, BC's vice president for academic affairs. "We value our longstanding affiliation with Southwest and are well aware of the benefits it offers to the students of this region."

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Bluefield College Golfers' Challenge Provides Support for Athletics

Bluefield College recently hosted its Fifth Annual Golfers' Challenge at Fincastle Country Club in Bluefield, Virginia, and local golf enthusiasts who participated or supported the project helped the school earn $27,359 for BC student-athletes -- the highest gift total for a BC Golfers' Challenge since its inception in 2002.

Sixteen teams sponsored by local individuals, organizations, and businesses competed in the captain's choice scramble. Prizes were awarded to the first and second place team finishers. Awards were also presented to the individuals with "the longest drive" and "the closest shot to the pin."

First place honors for the Challenge went to the McDonald's team of Tazewell, Virginia, made up of Bryan Blevins, Matt Blevins, Billy Olinger, and David Vault. Second place went to the foursome from Capitol Connections Southwest, including David Bailey, Jr., Chip Hurley, Bob Slagle, and Larry Slagle.

The "longest drive" award went to Stephen Crigger of McDaniel Consulting Services, while the award for the "closest shot to the pin" went to Tazewell Community Hospital's Bryan Bales.

Other prizes were presented to participants by the college during the event. Linda Taylor won a round of golf for four on the Meadows Course at The Greenbrier. Tom Shrewsbury won four tickets and a car pass to a Washington Nationals Major League Baseball game, donated by David Bailey. Cameron Forrester won a weekend getaway to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, donated by Ron LuAnn Fielitz. And, David Bailey took home cash as the winner of the 50-50 drawing.

This year's Golfers' Challenge also featured a silent auction for a weekend trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina, arranged by supporter David Bailey. Keith Janovec submitted the highest bid for this beach and golf getaway.

In addition to first place McDonald's of Tazewell and second place Capitol Connections Southwest, a host of other teams competed in the Challenge, thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors like BB&T, Cimarron Coach, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, First Sentinel Bank, Danny Henderson, McDaniel Consulting Services, Med Response, New Peoples Bank, Richwood Golf Club, Sam's Club, Scott and Stringfellow, Skyway Outdoor, Tazewell Community Hospital, and TruePoint Bank.

Individual players or supporters from these 14 remaining teams included (BB&T's) Kenny Billings, Jim Knowles, Jr., Matt Knowles, Larry Ratliff, (Cimarron Coach's) Ed Blair, Bryan Janovec, Keith Janovec, Tim Mallory, (Enterprise's) Tommy Cole, Angie Hill, Anthony Peretti, Doug Williamson, (First Sentinel's) John Boothe, Jr., Brian Cooper, Brian Webb, Seth White, (Henderson's) Danny Henderson, Keith Beckett, Roger Barnett, (Med Response's) Mike Baker, Bill Clarke, Brad McMillion, Ted White, (McDaniel Consulting's) Steven Crigger, Doug McDaniel, Paul Looney, Jay Johnson, (New Peoples Bank's) Richard Michaels, Charlie Paschall, Tom Shrewsbury, Mary Turner, (Sam's Club's) Paul Hamm, Gary Herald, Jeff Livingstone, Ken Perkins, (Scott and Stringfellow's) Susan Reiger, Eleanor Shaffrey, Linda Taylor, Mary Wood, (Richwood Golf Club's) Ed French, Tom Harrison, Raymond Mulkey, Tom Rohrer, (Skyway Outdoor's) Scott Bryan, Steve Buchanan, Steve Nolley, Preston Mathena, (Tazewell Community Hospital's) Bryan Bales, Dillard Hicks, Shelly Keene-Hicks, Sparky Watson, (TruePoint Bank's) Cameron Forrester, David Havens, Garnett Lester, and Jim McVey.

Other supporters or contributors to the BC Golfers' Challenge included American Block Company, Applebees, Bluefield Beverage Company, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield Monument, Bob Evans Restaurant, CiCi's Pizza, Citizens Building Supply, Comcast Communications, Dixie Sporting Goods, Draper Valley Golf Club, Ron and LuAnn Fielitz, First Community Bank, Flowers Foods Bakeries Group, Fountain Springs Golf Course, The Greenbrier, Sherry D. Haskins, Herald's Properties, Hertz Rent-a-Car, Dr. and Mrs. Robert M. Jones, Lowe's Home Center, Mayflower Restaurant, Monogram Magic, New Graham Pharmacy, William K. Perkins, Precision Golf, Senator Phillip Puckett, Quiznos Sub, Rish Equipment Company, Rupa-Comfort Inn, Swamp Fox, Dr. and Mrs. Donald K. Taylor, Thompson and Litton, Williams Chiropractic Clinic, Wolf Creek Golf, and Xtreme Klean.

The $27,359 in proceeds before expenses from the Bluefield College Golfers' Challenge will help the BC Athletic Department with expenses for recruiting, travel, equipment, and other student-athlete needs.

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Local Dignitaries Help Bluefield College Kick off New Year with President's Convocation

Local dignitaries, including mayors, trustees and chamber of commerce leaders, were on the campus of Virginia's Bluefield College recently to help the school ceremoniously kick off its 2006-2007 academic year.

Through the pomp and circumstance of BC's traditional President's Convocation, the area leaders joined faculty and staff in welcoming returning and new students back or for the first time to the Bluefield community and to the Bluefield College family.

BC Chairman of the Board Dan Grabeel welcomed the student body first with his traditional charge to students.

"We want to thank each and everyone of you for choosing Bluefield College for your higher education," said Dr. Grabeel, a Bluefield native and BC grad. "You could have chosen any college to attend, but we're grateful you chose Bluefield. We hope that your years here at BC are good ones."

New interim Bluefield College president Dr. Charles Warren introduced special guests and local dignitaries on the program. Among the select guests were BC trustees Julie Johnson and Charles Paschall; Nancy Warren, interim first lady; Hazel Warren, the mother of Dr. Warren; Vickie Higginbotham, sister to the interim president, and her husband, Dr. Henry Higginbotham.

The local dignitaries on hand to take part in the program included Bluefield, Virginia Mayor Jimmy Jones; Bluefield, West Virginia Mayor Garry Moore; Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce Chairman Tom Hall; and Virginia Baptist Mission Board representative Darrell Fletcher.

Jones offered greetings from the Town of Bluefield, Virginia. He told the students he wanted them to "feel like Bluefield is your home away from home." Moore, a 1993 graduate of Bluefield College, also encouraged the students to see BC as "home" and the faculty and staff as "friends."

"I thank God for Bluefield College," he said, "and you (current students) have a unique opportunity to improve not only academically, but spiritually while a student at this college."

Hall told students that the Chamber and the community "are here to help you," while Fletcher offered greetings to students from the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, its agencies and its 1,400 churches.

"We are grateful for the history of our relationship with Bluefield College," he said, "but even more excited about the future partnership with the school as we continue to work to do greater things for the Kingdom of God."

The school's faculty and Student Government Association (SGA) presidents also addressed the student body. The SGA's LeeTanya Adams assured the students that Student Government would be "here for you" during the year. The student body's voice, she said, "is the most important thing Bluefield College has. Using scripture that calls on Christians to "be still" and to rest in the presence of God, Dr. Flowers encouraged the students to take time during the year to slow down or to "chill."

"I challenge you to get involved in your classes, to commit yourself to learning," Dr. Flowers urged the students, "but also to commit time to your relationship with God. Get to know your professors. We want to get to know you. We care about your success."

In his President's Convocation address, Dr. Warren spoke about the beginning of the 85th academic year or chapter of the Bluefield College story. "You, the students," he said, "are the central theme of that story."

He shared details of recent BC accomplishments, including its top 50 ranking in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges," its reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, its 11 state-of-the-art SMART classrooms, and its new academic programs. He gave credit for that success to the dedicated faculty and staff and the nine years of devoted leadership from President Dan MacMillan, who recently departed BC for a position with Dallas Baptist University.

"He leaves with our love and our best wishes for this new calling in God's ministry," Dr. Warren said. "But, as the college enters this new season, it must remain committed to the challenge of integrating faith and learning and growing the hearts and minds of students."

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Bluefield College to Celebrate Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week

"Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week is an opportunity for every Bluefield College student and for members of the local community to have an authentic invitation to encounter and receive the Lord Jesus Christ."

These are the sentiments expressed by Bluefield College Campus Minister David Taylor concerning the school's annual Christian Emphasis Week. For the 15th consecutive year, thanks to the generosity of Drs. Gene and Jane Duremdes of Princeton, West Virginia, Bluefield College will host its traditional Christian Emphasis Week, Wednesday through Friday, September 27-29, featuring this year the lectures and instruction of Dr. Kent Fishel, a renowned coach and counselor who speaks and writes to teens and athletes around the world.

Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week began on the Bluefield College campus in the fall of 1992, thanks to the "special calling" sensed by Drs. Gene and Jane Duremdes to "share with the students of Bluefield College some of the blessings they have received from the Lord." The week gives students and the community the opportunity to "examine their spiritual lives" and challenges them to "seek answers to life-impacting questions."

"This is a time where students are challenged to grow in their walk with Christ," Taylor said, "and hopefully accept Him as their Lord and Savior."

This year's Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week schedule will feature three morning convocation/lecture sessions with Dr. Fishel at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, September 27-29 in Harman Chapel, and an evening discussion with Dr. Fishel during the school's weekly Blessings and More (BAM) session at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27 in the Student Activities Center Annex. All sessions are open and free to the public.

Dr. Fishel, who has spoken to students around the world, is the president of DISCIPLESHIP, INC., a ministry aimed at reaching students and adults with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is also the author of 10 books, including The Breakthrough Series and The Extreme Faith Devotional Bible.

Before beginning his ministry, he was a successful coach at both the high school and college levels. In fact, he was named the Indiana State Boys Tennis Coach of the Year in 1998 and the Indiana State Boys Track Coach of the Year in 1999. During that span, he also was honored as Coach of the Year by the Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel.

For more information about Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week at Bluefield College, please call the BC Office of Public Relations at 276-326-4212, or visit the BC web site at www.bluefield.edu/christianweek.

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Retired Bluefield College Professor and Lifelong Christian Servant Primitivo Delgado Dies

Longtime Bluefield College professor and lifelong Christian servant Dr. Primitivo Delgado died Thursday, September 14, 2006.

A longstanding resident of Bluefield, Virginia, with his wife, Hazel, and loyal church and civic pillar within the community, Dr. Delgado died in Wapakoneta, Ohio, where at the age of 93 he had been recovering near family from a pedestrian-automobile accident a year ago.

Dr. Del, as he was affectionately called by those who knew him well, served Bluefield College for more than three decades as a professor and academic administrator. He joined the BC faculty in 1957 as a Bible instructor and a year later was promoted to academic dean, a position he held while still teaching until 1975. From that point, he continued to serve the college as a professor of religion, philosophy and behavioral science until his retirement in 1991.

"Dr. Del was one of my favorite professors and deans at Bluefield College," said 1974 alumna Rita Parsons Blevins, who later began to work on staff at BC in the Academic Dean's Office. "I remember how he and Professor J.P. Jardine would make their rounds to our offices, sharing their morning cheer and just giving us encouragement. In fact, just a few weeks before his accident, he stopped by my office to give me a hug and some words of wisdom."

While still living in Bluefield in December of 2005, Dr. Delgado was seriously injured after being struck by a car while walking in a local grocery store parking lot. After recovering from critical condition initially, he was moved to a skilled care facility in Wapakoneta, Ohio, near his son, Lofton, and daughter, Andrea, and their families, where he continued rehabilitation. Despite efforts, Dr. Del passed, some eight months after the accident.

"Dad is now healthy and whole and rejoicing with the saints around the throne," said Dr. Del's son, Lofton Delgado. "He went home to be with the Lord. Thanks to all who prayed and supported us these last months. Your prayers helped keep all of us, especially Mom and Dad, going. I have no doubt that the prayers were responsible for Dad's survival and progress these past months."

While retired and before his accident, Dr. Delgado continued to stay connected to the college by participating in alumni events and enrolling in BC religion courses with current traditional students. In 2004, he received the school's Distinguished Christian Service Award. In fact, for future recipients, the school named the award the Delgado Christian Service Award in honor of his lifelong commitment to the institution and to Christian service.

"During my nine years of working with former Bluefield College students, I became keenly aware of just how much Dr. Delgado's life and leadership ability positively impacted the lives of young people," said alumnus Greg Sink, a former director of BC alumni relations. "He is definitely one of my all-time favorite people in the Bluefield College family. He really blessed my life."

Before BC, Dr. Delgado was pastor of Marion Baptist Church in Marion, Virginia, from 1947-1957. In 1948, he earned his Ph.D. and in 1944 his master's degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Born in Cuba in 1912, Dr. Delgado came to the United States in 1935 through the support of Baptist missionaries in Cuba. He attended Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy in Seymour, Tennessee, before earning his bachelor's degree from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee in 1941. During the past 25 years he had been a committed Sunday school teacher at First Presbyterian Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, as well as an active member of First Baptist Church in Bluefield. He had also served as an interim pastor of First Christian Church of Bluefield, First Presbyterian Church of Bluefield, First Presbyterian Church of Welch, West Virginia, and Tazewell Christian Church, of Tazewell, Virginia. His commitment to the community also included service on the Board of Advisors for the Widowed Persons Service and the Salvation Army and time as president and a member of the Rotary Club of Bluefield, where in 1991 he was named a Paul Harris Fellow.

Visitation and funeral services for Dr. Delgado took place in Harman Chapel on the campus of Bluefield College. The Delgado family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Primitivo Delgado Endowed Scholarship at Bluefield College in care of the BC Advancement Office, 3000 College Drive, Bluefield, Virginia, 24605.

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Reeses Selected to Perform for International Assembly in Switzerland

Charles Reese, a BC assistant professor of theatre arts, and Rebecca McCoy-Reese, a BC instructor of theatre arts, who also minister through the performing arts as Re:Creations, have been invited to lead the worship services at the International Baptist Assembly in Interlaken, Switzerland.

The International Baptist Assembly, scheduled for July 7-12, 2007, is a Southern Baptist gathering of English-speaking churches from across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The 2007 conference is expected to attract nearly 1,000 pastors, missionaries, and lay people.

"What an exciting opportunity for the Reeses," said Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, vice president for academic affairs, "and for our theatre program."

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Bluefield College Students Get More than they Give to Exceptional Children

While the summer sun is a welcomed break for most college students, ten Bluefield College education majors took advantage of the time to practice service learning through a summer course with exceptional children.

During BC's May Term 2006, the students enrolled in "Introduction to the Exceptional Child," a class designed to allow students to learn and acquire hands-on experience with children diagnosed as gifted or with special needs.

The ten Bluefield College students who took part in the service learning course included Brittany Childress of Pilgrim's Knob, Virginia; Amy Creasy of Tazewell, Virginia; Rebecca Goins of Bluefield, West Virginia; Jonathan Hall of Richmond, Virginia; Susan Karluk of Richmond, Virginia; Leslie Lambert of Bluefield, West Virginia; Stacey Mickens of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Sarah Miller of Princeton, West Virginia; Barry Smith of Richlands, Virginia; and Derick Smith of Richlands, Virginia. In fact, everyone, except Childress and Hall, completed their required ten-hour field experience at TASK: Taking Action for Special Kids in Tazewell County.

TASK is a summer enrichment program available to any student in Tazewell County between the ages of three and 20 who has special needs. The students with disabilities were varied from autism and Down Syndrome to physical and learning disabilities, just to name a few.

Patti Cetin, director of TASK, ran the four-week program from June 19 until July 14 from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. every day. Through the program, the exceptional students were able to participate in a variety of activities, like breakfast, lunch, academics, recreation, field trips, movies, bowling, and pool parties.

As part of their summer course requirements and service learning, the Bluefield College students interacted with the children enrolled in the TASK program, and for many of the BC students, the experience opened their eyes to the needs there are for special education. In fact, each student left with a greater knowledge of what it means to live with human disabilities. Some even said they enjoyed the experience so much, that they felt compelled to stay longer than the required ten hours to complete the course.

"There is such a need in special education," Mickens said. "People that can work with special education children definitely have a rare gift, and I believe I have that gift. Because of TASK, I have decided to pursue my master's degree in special education once I graduate from Bluefield College."

Student Amy Creasy served as the on-site coordinator at TASK and has been with the program for six years.

"The TASK children are wonderful," she said. "I don't feel like my summer would be complete without them. It is simply amazing to watch these kids open up to you over the course of four weeks -- even more so over the course of six years."

Lambert felt touched to see the joy of a young boy grow in his math skills, making this her favorite memory during the four weeks.

"One student learned how to add double digit numbers, and this accomplishment made him happier than anybody I had seen in a long time," Lambert said. "I felt like he had learned something that made him proud. Because of TASK, special needs students have the opportunity to work on improving their reading and math skills for the upcoming school year."

Although the Bluefield College students were distributing their knowledge and skills, they were humbled by the lessons they, too, learned along the way.

"Really, I think they (the TASK students) are the ones teaching us," Creasy added. "They teach us patience, unconditional love, and give to us the gift of understanding and compassion. These kids want to do and can do, if given the chance. That's why I love them!"

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Bluefield College and Centri-Kid Share Faith through Summer Youth Camp

More than 200 kids spent a week on the campus of Bluefield College this summer as part of a Southern Baptist youth camp called Centri-Kid, designed for both fun and faith.

The youth, kids in grades four through seven representing a dozen churches from three different states, took part in a host of typical camp recreation activities while on the Bluefield College campus, including basketball, tennis, sand volleyball and cheerleading. But, according to organizers, they shared an equal amount of time in Bible studies, worship, devotion and other faith activities designed to teach children the message of Jesus Christ.

"The recreation activities provide the foundation for us to share our message," said Michelle Davis, a children's sponsor from Red Oak, North Carolina. "We make the camp fun, but we share a message about Jesus in everything we do."

Created by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention in the summer of 2000, Centri-Kid began with approximately 300 campers. In just six short years, the camp has grown to serve more than 17,000 campers in 40 locations across the country, including Bluefield College. The purpose of the camp, counselors say, is to "take the children out of the world for a week and put Jesus in."

"A lot of the kids who come to this camp are not saved," Davis said, "and so we're able to introduce them to Christ. We try to take them out of the world and to feed Jesus to them for a week."

"This was a great opportunity to tell kids more about Jesus Christ," said Eric Schuster, a Centri-Kid veteran, turned first-year staffer from Hampton, Virginia. "You not only get to have fun with the kids, but you get to have an impact on their life."

During their weeklong stay on the BC campus, the Centri-Kids took part in high-energy worship services, interactive and kid-friendly Bible studies. Through it all, they developed a greater understanding of Christianity and deeper relationships with all those involved.

"It was good to see our kids grow close to the Lord and to have fun, too," said Dave Simpson, a Centri-Kids sponsor from Richmond, Virginia. "Our kids worked together and grew closer to one another. It was a great week!"

LifeWay's Centri-Kid camp is just one of many summer camp and ministry offerings available at Bluefield College. This year alone, in addition to Centri-Kid, BC hosted more than a hundred mission workers from churches in Georgia, the Reformed Family Bible Conference, a Fine Arts Camp, and several boys' and girls' basketball camps.

"We're excited that Bluefield College can be a part of what God is doing in the lives of so many children," said Pam Branch, director of special programs at BC.

"We enjoyed being here," Simpson added about the Centri-Kids' stay at Bluefield College. "The college has been very accommodating. The whole community has been very gracious."

For more information about Centri-Kid or other Bluefield College camp and conference opportunities for 2007, please call 276-326-4212.

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Classes in Art, Music, Writing and Dance Available through BC's Fine Arts Community School

The Bluefield College Fine Arts Community School (FACS) has released its schedule of courses for the fall 2006 term, and through the courses offered this fall local arts enthusiasts, both young and old, will be given the opportunity to take advantage of instruction in art, music, creative writing and dance.

Unless otherwise indicated, classes for the fall will begin the week of September 18. To register for a class or for more information about courses or fees, contact the FACS office by phone at 276-326-4246. Students may also enroll online by visiting www.bluefield.edu/facs or by attending a FACS registration session, Thursday, September 14 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. or from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Shott Hall, Room A. A registration fee of $15 is required for all classes.

Bluefield College's Fine Arts Community School (FACS) has been in existence for more than 12 years. Its purpose is to enable children and adults in the area to explore and study the arts with the guidance of mentors who have appropriate training and experience. Most courses must meet a minimum class size. Discounts are available for family members enrolled in more than one class, and extended payment plans are available.

Among the classes available this fall are four art classes, including a drawing course for beginners, ages 12 and up. This 10-sessions course with instructor Holly Kuster, set for Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., will take beginners through basic drawing techniques.

Art instructor Josh Trautman will teach a 10-session pottery course for students ages 12 and up. The pottery class, scheduled for Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., will feature instruction for beginners and advanced students. Participants will learn how to form, fire, and glaze all pottery.

The fall FACS schedule will also include a six-weeks course in pre-school art, set for Mondays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for kids ages 3-5. Instructor Holly Kuster will teach the pr-schoolers while they create hands-on autumn art.

Instructor Jeri St. Clair will teach painting with acrylics. This six-weeks course will be offered on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for kids ages 6-11 and on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for students ages 12-18. All students will learn the basics of painting with acrylics on canvas.

Two classes in drama will be offered this fall, including a Drama I course with instructor Nikki Hall, who plans to take students through the basic elements of drama through hands-on activities and games. This six-weeks class is set for Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for students ages 7-11 and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for students ages 12-18.

Following the six weeks of Drama I, Hall will teach a more advanced Drama II class for six additional weeks. The class will again meet on Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for students ages 7-11 and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for students ages 12-18.

Five opportunities in music will be available this fall through FACS. A home-school hand-bell choir class, taught by instructor Connie Bull and for students in grades four through eight, will teach the basics of music, the importance of individual contribution, and hand-bell and hand-chime techniques. This 12-weeks course will meet on Fridays from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Instructor Kris Hardy will offer private lessons in drums through the fall FACS schedule. Hardy will teach beginners of any age the basic techniques of drums during half-hour sessions to be scheduled between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursdays for ten weeks.

Instructor John Gomez will offer group lessons in guitar on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. This beginners class for students ages 9 and up will also run 10 weeks.

Private piano and private voice lessons wrap up the music module of the fall FACS schedule. Instructor Susan Allen will take beginning pianists or vocalists through half-hour lessons to be set up on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m for ten consecutive weeks.

Two classes in dance are also available through FACS this fall, including an interpretive movement/Hebrew dance class taught by Connie Bull. The course, scheduled to meet Thursdays, November 2, 9 and 26 from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., will be a mini-seminar of devotional movement to music and will include a symbolic movement presentation of the Lord's Prayer and a traditional Hebrew dance. Students ages 8-18 are eligible to enroll.

The second dance class is a six-weeks Scottish Highland/Scottish Country course, beginning September 26 with instructor Heather Sylvain, who will teach students the social dancing of Scotland to the sound of bagpipe music. The class will meet Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for students ages 6-10 and from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for students ages 11 and up.

Finally, students who enjoy writing will have the opportunity to take creative writing with instructor Crystal White. Her class will meet for five weeks on Thursdays, beginning October 19 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for ages 11-14 and from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for ages 15 and up.

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Piano Prodigy Alpin Hong Performs at Bluefield College

Award-winning piano prodigy Alpin Hong performed in concert on the campus of Bluefield College on September 5 -- the first of several musical performances that will make up the 2006-2007 Blue Mountain Performing Arts Series.

Offering captivating interpretations of Schubert and challenging pieces from Shostakovich and Stockhausen, Hong thrilled the Bluefield College audience with his startling virtuosity, unyielding artistic vision and impious style.

"He is a classical pianist like no other," said Bryant Moxley, chair of the BC Department of Music. "The energy and power of his performance feels more like a rock concert than the typical classical music concert."

Performing his orchestral debut with the Kalamazoo Symphony at age 10, Hong went on to win the 1994 Los Angeles Spotlight Awards Competition, 1993 Southwestern Youth Music Festival Competition, and 1989 Stravinsky Piano Competition, all before the age of 20.

In 2001, Hong became the first pianist in eight years to win the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, with a charismatic performance that earned standing ovations and the jury's unanimous vote. Since then, he has made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall, made solo appearances with the Santa Fe Symphony, Indian Hill Symphony and Orchestra X, and has signed a recording contract with Amsterdam-based record label Channel Classics.

Now, at the age of 34, Hong is touring both the U.S. and Asia, performing solo recitals as well as major orchestral works at places like Bluefield College. Following his concert, he spent the next day in classes on the BC campus, offering instruction to music students.

Next on the campus of Bluefield College as part of the Blue Mountain Performing Arts Series is the Manhattan Piano Trio, Monday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Harman Chapel. For more information, call 276-326-4212.

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Bluefield College's Biology Program Prepares Students for Med School

If you've ever wondered if attending a small liberal arts college like Bluefield College is the best place to start on your way to medical school, then just ask recent graduates of Bluefield College's biology/pre-med program.

In fact, 50 percent of Bluefield College's biology graduates from the past decade have been admitted to doctoral programs, including MD, DO, OD, PharmD, and Ph.D. schools. What does this say about Bluefield's ability to prepare students for med school? Just ask BC Professor of Biology Greg Kerr.

"These figures (50 percent med school admission rate for biology grads) should tell prospective students that Bluefield College's biology program is the right place to begin their studies," said Dr. Kerr, chair of the school's Division of Science and Mathematics. "For students willing to work, we can challenge them and prepare them for advanced degrees."

Ashley Conner Branch, a 2005 Bluefield College graduate, is the most recent BC biology/pre med student to be admitted to medical school. She is pursuing a doctorate at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. In fact, she's BC's first graduate to be admitted to VCU.

From the Bluefield College class of 2002, three students were admitted and have completed their requirements for medical school. Jared Hess attended the Edward Via Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned a doctorate of osteopathic medicine (DO). Robbie Wade went on to receive his doctorate in optometry (OD), while William Belcher attended the American University of the Caribbean where he earned his medical doctor's degree (MD).

Dr. Kerr attributes their success and the success of other BC pre-med students to Bluefield College's "high academic standards in the sciences" and the biology program's "commitment to excellence." He also gives credit to the strong foundation of faculty members.

"Personal attention to students," said Dr. Kerr when asked what makes BC's pre-med program so unique, "both in strengthening their credentials and in guiding them through the medical school admissions process. We even do practice interviews with the students."

Junior pre-med major Derrick Wagoner agrees and is thankful for the preparation he has been getting from Bluefield College thus far.

"I am thoroughly impressed," Wagoner said, "especially with my biology and chemistry professors. Sometimes the classes can be quite overwhelming, but it is reassuring that the challenges which are brought up in class are preparing me for success in medical school."

At Bluefield College, students like Wagoner in the biology and pre-med major are required to take eight hours of mathematics, one year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, and one year of physics. They must also prepare and present a public lecture on a biological topic of interest during their senior year. In addition, Dr. Kerr advises the students who plan on attending graduate or professional school to select courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, immunology, genetics, and biochemistry.

Other BC grads who make up the select group of students admitted to medical school during the past decade include 1997 alumnus Scott Carpenter, who earned his doctorate in optometry from Southern College of Optometry; 1997 alumnus Michael Harris, who received his doctorate in pharmacy (PharmD) from the Shenandoah University School of Pharmacy; 1997 alumna Wendy Neal, who earned a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree (DO) from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine; 1999 alumna Melissa Asbury Hypes, who earned a Ph.D. in biomedical science from the University of South Carolina; 1999 alumna Beth Kitts, who received a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Kentucky; 1999 graduate Kevin DeHart, who earned a DO from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine; 1999 alumnus Kelly DeHart, who earned a DO from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine; 1999 alumnus Kevin Green, the first BC graduate to attend the University of Virginia's School of Medicine where he earned an MD; 1999 alumna Mary Clements Vinson, who earned a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Edward Via Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine; and 2001 graduate Ashley Asbury, who also earned a DO from the Edward Via Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

"Who knows?" Dr. Kerr said. "You could be next."

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Bluefield College Charters Dr. Charlie Faith Fund as Tribute to Former President

One hundred years ago in June of 1906, a young Baptist preacher Pearly Harman and his wife, Etta, were -- as historian David Armbrister put it -- "blessed by the birth of a son, Charles Lee Harman, one destined to give a lifetime of devoted service to Christian education."

Sixty years ago, that preacher's son, Dr. Charles Lee Harman, became the president of Bluefield College where he would spend the next 26 years becoming the most prolific leader the school has ever known.

Today, Bluefield College commemorates the life and presidency of Dr. Charles Harman, better known as Dr. Charlie to those who knew him well, with the establishment of the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund, a memorial giving fund designed to advance the vision and preserve the memory of this onetime BC president while providing vital scholarship assistance to Bluefield College students.

While serving as the fifth president of Bluefield College from 1946 to 1972, Dr. Harman engineered the school's most notable growth in history. He led the most prolific era in development for the college, including the first organized fund-raising campaign and the construction of several campus facilities: Easley Library (1956), Rish Hall Girls' Dormitory (1960), Harman Chapel (1965), and the Golden Dome Gymnasium (1968).

In addition, under Dr. Harman's leadership the college developed a widely recognized Baptist Student Union, implemented residential co-educational status, opened its first night school program, and significantly increased its academic standards en route to obtaining accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. During Dr. Harman's tenure, the college also gained national prominence with its strong Christian stands and its decision to refuse government aid on the basis of separation of church and state.

"Dr. Harman served as a guide and guardian of this institution," said Armbrister, a retired BC professor and historian. "His leadership elevated the school to a top level among institutions of higher learning. He was firmly committed to developing Bluefield College into a leading Christian institution with high academic credentials."

As a tribute to Dr. Harman's watchful eye and leadership, Bluefield College has established the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund to allow alumni, current and former faculty and staff, and other BC friends to give to the college to help preserve the Harman legacy and to make the school's Christ-centered higher education more accessible to students.

"Just as men and women more than 60 years ago gave sacrificially to support Dr. Harman's vision for a strong faith-based, Christ-centered institution, the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund is established today to continue to support that vision," said Harold Hazen, BC's interim vice president for institutional advancement. "The Dr. Charlie Faith Fund will also honor the 100th anniversary of Dr. Harman's birth and the 60th anniversary of the year he took office as president of Bluefield College."

The Dr. Charlie Faith Fund, Hazen said, will be a part of the overall BC Fund for Scholarships, which "stands in the gap between dreams and reality." The BC Fund for Scholarships, he said, provides essential financial aid to students, who without the assistance might not otherwise be able to afford college.

Tuition and fees at Bluefield College, Hazen said, cover approximately 90 percent of the costs of providing a BC education. The remaining 10 percent, he added, comes from contributions made by donors to the school and the BC Fund for Scholarships. While capital and endowment gifts are critical to providing up-to-date facilities and meeting the future needs of the college, Hazen added, BC Fund gifts are critical to meeting the financial needs of students.

"Donors who become members of the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund are alumni and friends who intentionally, humbly and sacrificially support the BC Fund," Hazen said, "faithfully helping to bridge the gap between tuition and the actual cost of education for students."

Membership in the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund is available to any BC donor who 1) provides an annual gift of $1,000 or more to the BC Fund, 2) promotes Bluefield College among friends and family, and 3) prays for Bluefield College. Membership is also based on BC's fiscal year, July 1 through June 30. Formal certificates of membership will be distributed to donors each year they qualify.

The first 100 donors who give between now and June 30, 2007, shall be considered charter members of the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund. Charter members will receive a special leather-bound anniversary edition of the "Dr. Charlie" biography, featuring a new commemorative section with additional photos of Dr. Harman and a variety of his documents, including speeches.

To date, 24 BC donors have qualified for membership in the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund with commitments of $1,000 or more. For more information on how to become a part of preserving the Harman legacy and providing scholarship assistance to BC students, please call 276-326-4555. And, with your support, as a 1961 BC Yearbook said in a tribute to Dr. Charlie, "his good work will live always in our hearts."

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August

Bluefield College Students Celebrate New Year with Travelin' Max Show

Bluefield College students are celebrating the start of a new academic year on campus with a host of Welcome Week 2006 activities, including the most recent back to school bash - the Travelin' Max Show.

Dozens of Bluefield College students filled BC's Harman Chapel on Tuesday, August 22, just a day before the start of classes in the 2006-2007 school year, to take part - literally -- in the zany, interactive fun that is known as the Travelin' Max Show.

A touring stand-up musical comedian since 1992, Travelin' Max is well known for his imaginative ways of creating audience participation. And, his show at Bluefield College was no different as he often entered the crowd and invited students on stage to become a part of the program.

The BC students sang and danced both on and off stage with Max, including many who enjoyed more spotlight than the professional entertainer, who mixed '70s and '80s classics with music from the '90s and today to connect with the diverse crowd of students, parents, faculty, staff and the community.

Open and free to the public, the Travelin' Max Show also included BC students in a pie-eating contest, with no hands, of course, and a host of giveaways and contest prizes.

"People in the audience are always invited to join me on stage," Max said about his interactive show. "It makes for some hilarious and unforgettable moments."

In addition to his trips to the Bluefield College campus for Welcome Week, Travelin' Max has opened and shared billing with a host of nationally-known performers, including Sister Hazel, Tony Hawk, and Naughty by Nature. He was awarded the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities Performer of the Year Award in 2004, 2003 and 2001 and also earned APCA Solo Artist of the Year in 1999.

Bluefield College students will continue to celebrate the start of the new academic year with other Welcome Week activities planned through August 31, including a Battle of the Bluefields Tailgate Cook-Off Party (Friday, August 25 at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Dome Gymnasium, a Welcome Home College Town Social (Sunday, August 27 at 3 p.m. in downtown Bluefield, Virginia), a Community Fair designed to showcase area businesses, churches and services (Tuesday, August 29 at 11 a.m. in the campus Quad), and a contemporary Christian music concert with award-winning singer/songwriter Chris Rice (Thursday, August 31 at 8 p.m. in Harman Chapel).

For more information about other Welcome Week activities open to the public on the BC campus, call 276-326-4212.

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Bluefield College Formally Inducts New Students during Matriculation Ceremony

One hundred five of the projected 175 new Bluefield College students were formally installed into the school's student body during a ceremony on campus, Saturday, August 19.

With just days remaining before the start of the school's 2006-2007 academic year, the new freshmen and transfer students from as far as Alaska and as near as Bluefield took part in the Matriculation Ceremony designed to welcome and induct them into the BC family.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Gomez greeted the students during her opening remarks. While a symbolic event marking the beginning of their higher education endeavors, the Matriculation Ceremony, she said, is much like the one that will conclude their collegiate endeavors.

"Welcome to Bluefield College and another academic year," Dr. Gomez told the new students. "This is one of my favorite events of the school year -- when we get our first look at the entire freshman class. And, although it represents the start of your college career, it, in a sense, is a foreshadowing of an event like this four years from now in which you will culminate your undergraduate studies."

Interim President Charles Warren, whose association with the college began only weeks before the new students arrived, offered similar remarks during his Matriculation speech.

"It is an honor to welcome new students, freshmen and transfer, and new parents, faculty and staff to the start of the 2006-2007 academic year," said Dr. Warren, who began his tenure as interim president of Bluefield College on August 1 after the departure of Dr. Dan MacMillan. "This is now your college, and you are a part of the story that is Bluefield College."

Dr. Warren and Dr. Gomez individually recognized each of the new students, calling them by name to the stage and having them sign an official register as members of the class of 2010. Dr. Warren also spoke about the faculty and staff, to whom the new students had been entrusted.

"I'm almost as new to the Bluefield College story as you are," said Dr. Warren, who joined the BC family after 14 years of serving as president of Lynchburg College and the State University of New York, "but in my many years as a college president, I can honestly say that I have never been more impressed with a faculty and staff that will be here to guide, to challenge, and to support you in your collegiate studies."

Bluefield College is a private, Christ-centered, liberal arts college fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools with a mission of educating promising students for a life's work, connecting Christian principles and learning, and changing the world one graduate at a time. BC offers personalized instruction leading to baccalaureate degrees in 18 majors of study, including accelerated degree-completion programs for adults, and with the strength of its caring faculty and continuing efforts to make higher education more accessible to the region, the school is ranked among the top 50 comprehensive undergraduate colleges in the South by U.S. News and World Report and is recognized as the most affordable private college in Virginia by the Lumina Foundation for Education.

Also participating in the Matriculation Ceremony to welcome and induct new students were Instructor of Music Susan Allen (who offered the program's processional and recessional), Professor Greg Kerr (who provided the invocation), Professor Bryant Moxley (who led the singing of a hymn and the school's alma mater), Admissions Counselor Kathy Shott (who shared a scripture reading), Dean of Student Services Tim havens (who presented special music), and Professor Bill Shockley (who offered the benediction).

The new students and their families were also the guests of honor for a dinner after the ceremony, outside on the BC campus Quad. Classes for the students begin Wednesday, August 23.

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Community Welcomes New Interim President to Bluefield College

A host of civic, municipal and community leaders joined dozens of Bluefield College alumni, students, faculty and staff in formally welcoming new interim president Dr. Charles Warren to the school, Friday, August 18, during a reception on the BC campus.

Dr. Warren, a retired Christian educator with more than 14 years of experience as a college president, including most recently at Lynchburg (VA) College, began his tenure with Bluefield on August 1, 2006. He succeeded President Dan MacMillan, who served nine years as BC's eighth president before announcing his plans in June to depart the school for a position with Dallas Baptist University.

"We are honored to have an educator of this caliber to serve in the interim as we search for a permanent president for Bluefield College," said Dr. Dan Grabeel, chairman of the BC Board of Trustees, during the Welcoming Reception. "Having known Dr. Warren for many years and the excellent job he's done in education previously, I am confident he will be a tremendous asset to Bluefield College and to the Bluefield community."

A native of Bluefield, West Virginia, Dr. Warren served as the ninth president of Lynchburg College for eight years. His presidential experience also includes six years at the State University of New York (SUNY) where he also served five years as provost and vice president for academic affairs and three years (1979-1982) as the dean of arts and sciences and a professor of biology.

The Welcoming Reception, for both Dr. Warren and his wife, Nancy, featured food, drinks and fellowship, but most of all the opportunity to wish Dr. Warren well in his service as interim president of Bluefield College.

"Nancy and I are honored to join the Bluefield College community," Dr. Warren said, "and we look forward to helping prepare for the future and the arrival of a new president."

Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, where his mother, Hazel, still resides, Dr. Warren will serve as interim president of Bluefield College while the school's Board of Trustees conducts an exhaustive search for a permanent presidential replacement. His higher education experience also includes 13 years with Southwestern College at Memphis (now Rhodes College) where he served as executive vice president, academic dean, chair of the Biology Department, and professor of biology.

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Retired Lynchburg College Leader Named Interim President of Bluefield College

A retired Christian educator with more than 14 years of experience as a college president will serve as interim president of Bluefield College, beginning August 1, 2006.

Dr. Charles O. Warren, Jr., a native of Bluefield, West Virginia, and longtime president of Lynchburg (VA) College, has been called by the Bluefield College Board of Trustees to "stand in the gap" in the wake of the departure of President Dan MacMillan and during the Board's search for a permanent presidential replacement for the school.

Retired from full time service in Christian higher education since 2001, Dr. Warren served as the ninth president of Lynchburg College for eight years. During his tenure with Lynchburg -- a residential, co-educational college of about 2,400 students and historically associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) -- Dr. Warren was characterized as a "creative," "quiet" and "inclusive" leader who developed a "caring community of shared leadership and responsibility" on campus.

In fact, he established five Centers of Distinction to meet community needs and to provide unique opportunities for students to combine scholarly pursuits with service learning and leadership development. Other major accomplishments during his tenure included the creation of the Claytor Nature Study Center in Bedford County (VA) and an increase of more than 100 percent in the college's endowment.

"Having known Dr. Warren for many years and the excellent job he's done in education previously, I am confident he will be a tremendous asset to Bluefield College and to the Bluefield community," said Dr. Dan Grabeel, chairman of the BC Board of Trustees.

Before Lynchburg, Dr. Warren served 14 years as an administrator and educator for the State University of New York (SUNY). He served six years (1987-1993) as president of the SUNY College at Plattsburgh, five years (1982-1987) as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the SUNY College at Cortland, and three years (1979-1982) as the dean of arts and sciences and a professor of biology at SUNY-Plattsburgh.

His higher education experience also includes 13 years with Southwestern College at Memphis (now Rhodes College) where he served as executive vice president, academic dean, chair of the Biology Department, and professor of biology.

With a Ph.D. from the University of Florida and a master's and a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Dr. Warren's career also includes work as a research biologist for a private laboratory and as a NIH Research Fellow in Biochemistry at St. Jude's Children Research Hospital. Coming out of retirement to serve as interim president of Bluefield College is now where he and his wife, Nancy, say they will turn their attention.

"Nancy and I are honored to join the Bluefield College community," Dr. Warren said, "and we look forward to helping prepare for the future and the arrival of a new president."

Dr. Warren will succeed President Dan MacMillan, who served nine years as BC's eighth president before announcing his plans in June to depart the school for a position with Dallas Baptist University. During Dr. MacMillan's tenure, Bluefield College created six new majors of study, claimed four straight years of inclusion in U.S. News and World Report's listing of "America's Best Colleges," earned reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), built two new buildings on campus while renovating a host of other facilities, renewed its covenant with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, formed an alliance with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), and penned a new mission and vision statement.

"I think it's clear to everyone that the students of Bluefield College have been well-served for many decades by a dedicated and capable faculty and staff," Dr. Warren said. "It is truly an institution where students come first."

Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, where his mother, Hazel, still resides, Dr. Warren is the author of more than a dozen research and scholarly publications and an author, project director or principal investigator of numerous grants.

He has been involved with a number of community and state leadership organizations in Tennessee, New York and Virginia, including, more recently, Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vision Council, Rotary International, Lynchburg City Schools Partnership for Education, National Conference of Community and Justice, and the Holocaust Education Foundation of Central Virginia.

Dr. Warren is also the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including Distinguished Service and Honorary Alumnus Awards from SUNY-Plattsburgh, a Humanitarian Award from the Lynchburg Chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice, Honorary Life Membership in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Society of Faith and Reason, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lynchburg College, and a Professional of the Year Award from the Pulaski (VA) Rotary Club.

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Bluefield College Begins New Year with New VP for Finance

As Bluefield College embarks on a new academic year, it will do so with new leadership in the administrative area of business and finance.

Jerold Meadows, a longtime business executive with nearly two decades of experience in higher education finance, recently joined the college as the new vice president for administration and finance, and will lead the school into fiscal year 2006-2007.

Meadows came to BC from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where he served four years as executive vice president and chief financial officer. At MacMurray, he managed business and financial affairs, information technology, human resources, external contracts, tactical planning, maintenance of the physical plant, and auxiliary enterprises.

In fact, he was known for reestablishing financial and operational integrity at MacMurray and for also restructuring the school's employee benefits package, creating a more competitive package to allow for the first time in years successful recruitment of highly qualified faculty members.

"Jerold brings a wealth of experience in areas that Bluefield College needs," said Dr. Dan MacMillan, who hired Meadows before departing from his duties as president of Bluefield College. "I think he will help us make great strides and take us to a new level of financial stability."

Before MacMurray, Meadows worked two years as an executive consultant and manager for SunGard AMS Consulting Services and 10 years as a business manager and auditor and later a vice president for business affairs at Mississippi College. At Mississippi College, he implemented the first significant improvement to the school's defined benefit pension plan in more than 25 years, supervised the installation of a new administrative database system, and managed multiple restoration projects to alleviate 25 years of deferred maintenance on campus.

Meadows' experience also includes three years as an auditor for the University of South Alabama, three years as a controller for the City of Long Beach, Mississippi, and three years as an accountant for Roberts, Cooper and Rasor in Biloxi, Mississippi. Now, he said, he's looking forward to the opportunity to serve at Bluefield College.

"There were several things that caught my attention about Bluefield College," Meadows said about accepting the position at BC. "First, I saw that it was a college that is not ashamed to call itself a Christ-centered institution. I had a strong sense of calling back into that type of institution. Plus, I was impressed with the people that I met here. They were a caring, concerned, Christian group of people."

Meadows said he also realized that Bluefield College is "on the verge of blossoming into something exceptional." Being a part of this impending growth and achievement, he said, was appealing to him. He's thankful, he added, "God gave [him] the opportunity to serve a Southern Baptist, proudly Christ-centered institution on the verge of greatness."

Meadows, a certified public accountant, holds a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in business with a concentration in accounting from Mississippi College. As the new vice president for administration and finance at Bluefield College, Meadows said he hopes to develop progressive data-driven systems that will support and facilitate the educational mission of the college. His goal, he added, is to make the college as excellent in its financial circumstances as it is with its academic endeavors.

"My training is in accounting and business, but my calling is in administration of colleges, Christian colleges in particular," Meadows said. "I believe that God equipped me with certain skills and abilities that enable me to perform the requirements of this calling. To that end, I have dedicated myself to being the best administrator and educational leader that I can be. Positions on the staffs of other colleges have given me a well-rounded resume of experience in the educational world."

And, while Meadows may be new to the staff at Bluefield College, he is no stranger to the BC family. In fact, his wife, Pamela, grew up on the Bluefield College campus as the daughter of Curtis Cheek, a professor of music at BC from 1957 to 1963.

"I thought a lot of Pam's father, and I owe to him thanks for helping me realize that I could be of service to God and mankind in higher education," Meadows said. "To me it is a personal honor, and I hope a testament to him, to serve the same college that he served. I am blessed to have the opportunity to work here at Bluefield College. This is a very special place."

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Watson Appointed Chair of the Division of Education

In the wake of the departure of longtime Bluefield College Teacher Education Chair Gerald Clay, Dr. Donna Watson has been named leader of the division for teacher licensure.

Having served on faculty for the BC Teacher Education Program (TEP) for nearly a decade and being a graduate of that same teacher licensure program, Dr. Watson is no stranger to preparing BC students to be the teachers of the future.

"It is certainly an honor for me to be named the director of the Teacher Education Program and chair of the Division of Education," said Dr. Watson about her promotion. "As a graduate of Bluefield College, as well as a former student of Dr. Clay's, and a colleague of his since 1996, I realize what a tremendous challenge lies ahead."

Dr. Watson holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction and mathematics education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2005. She earned her master's degree in secondary education from Radford University in 1983 and her bachelor's degree and teacher licensure in English education from Bluefield College in 1980.

Since joining the Teacher Education faculty in 1996, Dr. Watson has served as an adjunct instructor of education and an assistant professor of education. Now, as the director of Teacher Education and chair of the Division of Education, she said she can only hope to maintain what her predecessor began.

"I want to continue the outstanding work Dr. Clay began," Dr. Watson said, "and maintain our strong presence as an academic division at Bluefield College and as a supplier of outstanding teacher graduates to this region and beyond."

Before Bluefield College, Dr. Watson served six years as a middle school math teacher in McDowell County, West Virginia. Her awards and honors since becoming a professional educator include a Distinguished Service Award from the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching, and West Virginia Middle School Mathematics Teacher of the Year.

She is a member of the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Women Educators, and the Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics.

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Golfers' Challenge for Locals to Support Bluefield College Athletics

Looking for a golf challenge -- one with an opportunity to win a $10,000 cash prize? Interested in testing your green skills against the area's best, while at the same time providing valuable support to the athletic program at Bluefield College?

Then, sign up today as a participant or sponsor of the Fifth Annual Bluefield College Golfers' Challenge, scheduled for Monday, August 28 at Fincastle Country Club in Bluefield, Virginia, and featuring for the second year in a row a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize.

Area golf enthusiasts are already joining the field of contestants who will compete in the Fifth Annual BC Golfers' Challenge. The competition, according to organizers, is one that will not only give local linksters the chance to compete against the area's best golfers for trophies and prizes, but will also give participants the opportunity to support student-athletes at Bluefield College. In fact, proceeds from the Challenge, BC officials say, will go directly to the school's Department of Athletics.

Individual sponsorships in the Challenge allow for the entry of a single four-member team and are available for a fee of $400 per team or $100 per player on a four-member individual team. Individual sponsors or all team players will receive a round of golf, lunch, snacks, a season pass to all Bluefield College athletic events, and a chance for additional prizes or recognition during Challenge play.

Corporate sponsorships are available for a fee of $1,000, and businesses or corporations who sponsor the Challenge will receive a round of golf for a four-member corporate team, along with lunch, snacks and season passes to all BC athletic events for the four team players. In addition, corporate sponsors will get a company promotional sign placed in BC's Dome Gymnasium and at a hole on the golf course, along with opportunities for additional prizes or recognition during Challenge play.

The play format for the BC Challenge will be a four-man scramble with a captain's choice. Registration for the event will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at noon. Teams will tee off at 1 p.m.

Team prizes will be awarded to the first and second place finishers. Individual awards will also be presented to the players with the "longest drive" and the "closest to the pin" shot. Additional prizes will be given away through drawings held during the day.

But, the most appealing reward in the 2006 edition of the BC Golfers' Challenge, in addition to supporting BC student-athletes, is the $10,000 cash prize available to the participant who scoreds a hole-in-one on a course par three.

For more information or to sign up as a participant/individual sponsor or corporate sponsor, please call the BC Department of Athletics at 276-326-4253.

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Bluefield College Alumnus Phillip Brashear Loses Father, a Navy Legend

Bluefield College alumnus Phillip Brashear lost his father recently. The pioneer military diver, Carl Brashear, the Navy's first African-American deep-sea diver, died July 25, 2006 at the age of 75.

A retired master chief who was portrayed by actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the movie "Men of Honor" for his heroics as a Navy diver, Carl Brashear died of respiratory and heart failure. His refusal to quit the Navy despite racism not only inspired the movie "Men of Honor," but also earned him a Navy-Marine Corps Medal of Honor for heroism. Phillip, his son, is a 1999 graduate of Bluefield College's degree-completion program in Richmond, Virginia. Phillip is also a weapon system support manager for the Defense Supply Center in Richmond and a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Army National Guard.

Last spring, Phillip, one of the college's most distinguished young alums, flew a Blackhawk helicopter to the BC campus to speak for the school's Media Appreciation Day. Now, the 16-year veteran of the National Guard is flying his Blackhawk over the treacherous skies of the Middle East, assisting the U.S. Marines in patrolling the Syrian border to prevent insurgents from entering Iraq. Fortunately, he was able to obtain an emergency leave from his duties in Iraq to be with his father during his final days.

"I am so glad my Dad asked God to keep him here until I returned from Iraq on July 20," Phillip said. "We shared a great weekend together, and I am so thankful that I was there to hold his hand as he passed away. He was suffering through a lot of physical pain. Now he is suffering no more."

Carl, as it turns out, died at Portsmouth (VA) Naval Medical Center, the same hospital where he recovered from a diving accident in 1966 that cost him his leg. There, doctors fitted him with an artificial leg and designed an exercise program that incredibly allowed him to return to diving for the Navy and become the first amputee in Naval history to be restored to active duty -- a story chronicled in the movie "Men of Honor."

"He was a great educator," Phillip said about his dad. "Just by the way he lived his dreams, he was an example. Maybe he changed some viewpoints for the better."

The eldest Brashear, born in Kentucky in 1931, joined the Navy in 1948 and overcame racism, exclusion and resistance during his pursuits as a diver to become one of only seven enlisted men in history to be enshrined in Naval Archives. After his accident and return to active duty in 1967, he became the executive officer of the Navy's diving school barge before retiring as a master chief petty officer in 1979.

However, despite the midshipmen's legend, his son, BC's Phillip Brashear, decided flying was his passion. While flying and working full time for the Defense Supply Center, Phillip, who had chosen military duty before completing his college studies, learned about Bluefield College's adult degree-completion program in Richmond. Because of its convenience and flexibility and his longtime desire to complete his college degree, Phillip decided to go back to school. And, he earned his bachelor's degree in organizational management and development from BC in 1999.

In addition to his service in Iraq, Phillip was also activated in a Presidential Recall in 2001 to serve in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Outside of his military duty, he has served as a frequent speaker at local schools, colleges, churches and other civic organizations and was recently selected to serve as a role model for minority recruiting for the military at the Essence Music Festival in Louisiana. While he is thankful the Army allowed him to be with his father during his passing, he knows now he must fulfill his obligations to his country.

"I have been extremely busy taking care of my father's personal matters lately," Phillip said, "but soon I must prepare myself to return to Iraq to complete my military duties."

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Bluefield College Honors Degree-Completion Faculty with Awards

Just as the college presented its first ever Adult Student of the Year Awards in May, the school also honored its degree-completion faculty with inaugural Faculty of the Year Awards.

Instructors Al Muire, Bill Shockley and Larry Sinsabaugh earned the first ever Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Awards as the outstanding faculty members in the organizational management and leadership (OML) portion of the degree-completion program.

Muire is an instructor for the OML program in Tidewater, Virginia. He also teaches criminal justice classes for BC's adult program. Outside of Bluefield College, his teaching experience includes tenures as an assistant professor at Thomas Nelson Community College and Bryant and Stratton College in Hampton Virginia. He began his teaching career at the Non-Commissioned Officer Leadership School (NCOLS) at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

In addition to 17 years of teaching experience, Muire spent 26 years in the United States Air Force. He has also worked in security and law enforcement, as well as purchasing and contract management.

"I feel so honored," Muire said after learning of his Faculty of the Year award. "I've always been proud to be part of the Bluefield College family, and I will continue to do everything I can to make our adult program the best it can be for our customers, the students."

Muire holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from St. Leo University in Florida, a master's degree in human resource management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California, and a master's degree in education from Troy State University in Alabama.

Dr. Shockley teaches in the degree-completion program in Bluefield. He is also a professor of business for traditional students at BC. His experience also includes teaching stints with Averett University in Danville, Virginia, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, Troy University in Alabama, Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta, Virginia, and Kansas-Newman College in Wichita, Kansas.

Dr. Shockley has also served as a director of education for ITT Technical Institute in Richmond, Virginia, and as an instructor and a total quality advisor for the United States Air Force. He holds his doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a master's degree in logistics management from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and a bachelor's degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle.

Dr. Sinsabaugh is an instructor for the program in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to his teaching duties, he owns and operates his own private practice counseling and consulting service in Richmond.

His experience also includes work as an internal consultant to senior management and a manager for management training at the former Heilig-Meyers Corporation. He has also served as an area manager for Crawford and Company Health and Rehabilitation Services. In addition, he has worked for the Virginia Department of Veteran's Affairs, the Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services.

"I think the OML program is very lucky to have an instructor like Dr. Larry Sinsabaugh," said recent BC graduate Phillip Hunnel. "He is an excellent instructor. He demonstrates caring and understanding for his students, and he is one of the most courteous people I have ever met. I thoroughly enjoyed his class."

Dr. Sinsabaugh earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and a master's degree and his Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He holds licenses to practice as a professional counselor in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina; a certified professional counselor in Maryland; a licensed marriage and family therapist in Virginia; and a licensed vocational evaluator in Virginia.

According to Dr. Don Caudill, chair of the OML program, all three award recipients were instrumental in helping to redesign the degree-completion program's organizational management and development major into a new, more appealing degree program with leadership components.

"They generously donated their time and talent to the project," Dr. Caudill, "which contributed to their being selected as the first recipients of the Faculty of the Year awards."

The Faculty of the Year Awards for all three consisted of a plaque and a cash honorarium.

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Bluefield College Schedules Welcome Week Events for Students and Community

When you think of the start of a new academic year on a college campus, you can't help but think of purchasing textbooks, reviewing syllabi and memorizing class schedules.

But, at Bluefield College the start of the 2006-2007 academic term is scheduled to be more than books and classes, thanks to school's Welcome Week 2006 for students and the community.

When BC students return to campus for the fall semester, they will do so with a host of concerts, parties, games and other activities on the agenda. The events are designed to help students adjust to the transition of the college scene and the end of summer. In addition, the activities are open to the public at-large.

Among the highlighted events on the Welcome Week schedule are a comedy club, a high school football tailgate party, a town social, a community fair, and a marquee contemporary Christian music concert with award-winning singer/songwriter Chris Rice.

The comedy club entertainment, set for Tuesday, August 22 at 8 p.m. in BC's Harman Chapel will feature musical comedian Travelin' Max. His award-winning comic show, open and free to the public, is best known for its audience participation. With a wireless guitar and microphone, Max constantly roams around and interacts with the audience. One of the more unusual features of his show is the fact that he keeps the stage mics open "for all who wish to join in the spotlight."

The high school football tailgate party, dubbed the Battle of the Bluefields Tailgate Cook-Off Party and set for Friday, August 25 at 5:30 p.m., will feature free food and prizes prior to the traditional Graham-Beaver high school football game. The friendly rivalry fun will take place on the field and parking lot in front of BC's Dome Gymnasium, within walking distance of Mitchell Stadium, the site of the traditional high school cross-town rivalry.

The Bluefield, Virginia Downtown Merchants Association and Economic Development Authority will host a Welcome Home College Town Social for BC students and the community, Sunday, August 27 at 3 p.m. The social gathering, designed to introduce BC students to downtown merchants and their products and services, will originate in the Town Square and will feature food, shopping, games and other welcome back fun.

Area churches, businesses, services, and civic clubs will have an additional opportunity to showcase their products and programs to BC students during a Community Fair on campus in the Quad, Tuesday, August 29 at 11 a.m. The Community Fair will also showcase the clubs and organizations of Bluefield College available to students.

The grand finale of Welcome Week 2006 will be a contemporary Christian music concert with award-winning singer/songwriter Chris Rice, Thursday, August 31 at 8 p.m. in Harman Chapel. Promoting his latest CD, "Amusing," Rice has become one of the most well-known and influential artists in contemporary Christian music today. His career as a singer/songwriter has included the sale of more than a million and a half records, several number one singles, numerous Dove Award nominations, and a Dove Award for Male Vocalist of the Year. That vast success he will bring to Bluefield College on August 31. While open to the public, the Chris Rice show will cost $15 at the door or $10 in advance.

The complete Welcome Week schedule, open to the public, also includes: 1) a Matriculation Ceremony, formally welcoming new BC freshmen to the student body (Saturday, August 19 in Harman Chapel), 2) a Movie in the Quad (Sunday, August 20, 8:30 p.m.), 3) SpiritFest, featuring a bonfire and introducing all BC athletes to the campus and community (Thursday, August 24, 8:30 p.m., the Dome), and 4) the President's Convocation, a formal semester kick-off ceremony featuring faculty in full academic regalia and local dignitary speakers (Wednesday, August 30, 10 a.m. in Harman Chapel).

For more information about the events of BC's Welcome Week 2006, please call the Office of Public Relations at 276-326-4212.

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July

Area Youth Learn Fine Arts at Bluefield College Summer Camp

More than 70 young fine arts enthusiasts spent a week on the campus of Bluefield College, July 24-28, taking part in activities and instruction in art, music, drama, storytelling, and exercise.

The local kids, pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, participated in BC's Fine Arts Camp, sponsored by the school's Fine Arts Community School (FACS).

The Monday through Friday day camp took students through five classes each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The art class, taught by local artists Holly Kuster (pre-K class) and Cynthia Tilley, gave campers the opportunity to create a painting, produce a sculpture, and weave with fibers.

"I'm making something for my Mom," said one local camper about his creation with clay. "It's going to be a surprise."

The music section, taught by local musician Janet Crawford (pre-K class) and Bluefield College assistant professor of music Bryant Moxley, allowed campers to experience and explore music through movement, instruments, choral singing, rhythmic activities and more.

"These kids have a lot of energy and enthusiasm for music," Moxley said. "They keep you on your toes."

The drama session, taught by BC instructor of theatre arts Rebecca McCoy Reese, featured games and exercises to help stimulate the imagination. During the drama session, participants also learned to work as a team on stage.

Storytelling, taught by BC instructor of theatre arts Charles Reese, included games and exercises designed to stimulate the imagination and develop the skills of storytelling.

And, exercise, taught by instructors from the Bluefield Wellness Center, featured Junior Jazzercise, kickboxing, strength training, and a workout on an obstacle course.

Bluefield College's Fine Arts Community School (FACS) has been in existence for more than 13 years. Its purpose is to enable children and adults in the area to explore and study the arts with the guidance of mentors who have appropriate training and experience.

For more information about future FACS opportunities with Bluefield College, call 276-326-4246.

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Bluefield College Releases Spring 2006 President's and Dean's Lists

Bluefield College has released its President's and Dean's Lists for traditional students for the spring 2006 semester.

Forty-seven traditional BC students were named to the President's List for earning a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) during the spring semester, while 51 traditional students were named to the Dean's List for earning a GPA between 3.5 and 3.9.

Among the students named to the spring 2006 President's List:

Rebecca, Asbury, Bluefield, VA
Ewa Bartkowiak, Washington, DC
Ido Barzilay, Bluefield, WV
Cody Bentley, Castlewood, VA
Jennifer Chappelear, Bassett, VA
Hannah Christian, Richlands, VA
Kristen Clarke, Bluefield, VA
Melissa Dotson, Tazewell, VA
Matthew Elswick, Bluefield, VA
Rebecca Goins, Bluefield, WV
Thomas Graver, Bluefield, WV
Joshua Grubb, Max Meadows, VA
Mallory Hart, King George, VA
Dustin Headen, Martinsville, VA
Jaimie Hobbs, Covington, VA
Amanda Hollingsworth, Pulaski, VA
Brittany Howard, Soldotna, AK
Brittnie Hubbard, Bluefield, VA
Miriam Johnson, Tazewell, VA
Seth Jones, Hebron MD
Virginia Kennedy, Bluefield, VA
Matthew Kidd, Bluefield, VA
CharLynn Markwart, Bluefield, WV
Amy Montgomery, Blacksburg, VA
Jennifer Pearman, Stokesdale, NC
Tabitha Price, Bluefield, VA
Keilah Ramey, Luray, VA
Jeremy Ramsey, Henry, VA
Lisa Robinson, Luray, VA
Dania Safi, Bluefield, VA
Lindsey Sebring, Chesapeake, VA
Sharde Sherman, Dillsburg, PA
Joshua Sizemore, Galax, VA
Barry Smith, Pounding Mill, VA
Amanda Spurlin, Galax, VA
Ashley Stickel, Viera, FL
Bradley Sutphin, Max Meadows, VA
Benjamin Thurman, Moneta, VA
Abdalis Toro, Orlando, FL
Derrick Wagoner, Charles Town, WV
Hillary Watson, Luray, VA
Mark Weitzel, Matoaka, WV
Kreg Welch, Bluefield, VA
Crystal White, Bluefield, VA
Lindsay Whitworth, Marion, VA
Trisha Wise, Bumpass, VA
Leah Woodrum, Bluefield, WV

Among the traditional students named to Bluefield College's spring 2006 Dean's List:

Chadrick Arnold, Wytheville, VA
Jennifer Bailey, Powhatan, VA
John Bostic, Lewisburg, WV
Jennifer Brewster, Bluefield, VA
Joshua Brintle, Tazewell, VA
Teri Burton, Greer, SC
Dylan Camden, Bluefield, WV
Robert Canoy, Shelby, NC
Sarah Carlock, Lebanon, VA
Sarah Collins, Saltville, VA
Sarah Cordill, Princeton, WV
Amy Creasy, North Tazewell, VA
Donna Crouse, Tazewell, VA
Erica Davis, New Castle, VA
Lorie Dye, Pounding Mill, VA
Kathryn Eggleston, Roanoke, VA
Erin Eller, Bramwell, WV
Raymond Ellis, Jr., Plymouth, NC
Christopher Flowers, Bluefield, VA
Amber Gidden, Lecanto, FL
Leah Gilbert, Springfield, VA
Michael Gullion, Pocahontas, VA
Jordan Harmon, Bulls Gap, TN
Marissa Hayes, Bluefield, VA
Anthony Kidd, Bastian, VA
Shana Kitts, Tazewell, VA
Crystal Koppler, Princeton, WV
Victoria Krein, Fredericksburg, VA
Cassidy Lenhart, Morgantown, WV
Adam McAllister, Bluefield, VA
Mark McLeod, Roanoke, VA
David Michaux, Bluefield, WV
Ryan Moore, Cedar Bluff, VA
Victoria Murray, Morgantown, WV
Ryan Myers, Winchester, VA
Stefanie Neel, North Tazewell, VA
Emily Oblinger, Bluefield, VA
Nicholas Quesenberry, North Tazewell, VA
Jessica Rayle, Virginia Beach, VA
Andrew Shumate, Bluefield, WV
Jessica Skiles, Bassett, VA
JoAnna Smith, Wytheville, VA
Michael Smith, Galax, VA
Christopher Spaulding, Dingess, WV
Amanda Staples, Bluefield, VA
Michelle Stubbs, Fayetteville, NC
Brandon Tegeler, Pounding Mill, VA
David Turpin, Virginia Beach, VA
Elerene Walters, Cantonment, FL
Bryan Wohlford, Bluefield, VA
Jennifer Workman, Princeton, WV

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Bluefield College Schedules Fall Registration

Bluefield College will begin its fall 2006 semester with a number of exciting class opportunities for students, including a new graphics communications major and a youth ministry minor for traditional students, a new e-business major for working adults, and a jump-start challenge program for high school seniors.

Classes for the fall 2006 term will begin Wednesday, August 23. Registration for the fall semester will take place Tuesday, August 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Activities Center in Shott Hall.

Seniors will register from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., juniors from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., sophomores from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and freshmen and new transfer students from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Students must register during their scheduled time, unless arrangements are made in advance with the Registrar's Office.

Residence halls will open for freshmen on Saturday, August 19 at 11 a.m. Returning students may move into residence halls on Sunday, August 20.

This fall, the college will continue to offer instruction for traditional students in 19 majors of study, including some of the school's most popular majors of business, teacher education, criminal justice, biology (pre-med), and Christian studies. Among the new programs available for traditional students this fall are a graphics communications major to respond to the growing interest in this field from prospective students and a youth ministry minor within the Christian studies major.

The college will also continue to offer non-traditional students or working adults the opportunity to obtain a bachelor's degree in three areas of study: behavioral science, criminal justice and organizational management and leadership. New to the adult degree-completion program this fall is a major in e-business and entrepreneurship.

Additional study opportunities will be available this fall for non-traditional students as part of the school's Night Classes schedule and programs called Try-One and Challenge 2006. Adult students who have been out of high school for 10 or more years and who have less than 12 hours of college credit may be eligible for the special discounted program called Try-One.

Challenge 2006 is a special class option available for high school students. The program, open to high school seniors with a GPA of at least 3.0, allows high school students to get a head start on their college career by taking a college course while still attending high school.

As part of the start of the new fall semester, the college has scheduled a number of Welcome Week activities for both students and the community. Among the Welcome Week 2006 events open to the public: 1) a musical comedy entertainment extravaganza, featuring audience participation and free gifts (Tuesday, August 22, 8 p.m., Harman Chapel, 2) SpiritFest, featuring a bonfire and introducing all BC athletes to the campus and community (Thursday, August 24, 8:30 p.m., the Dome), 3) Battle of the Bluefields Tailgate Cook-Off Party, featuring free food and prizes prior to the traditional Graham-Beaver high school football game (Friday, August 25, 5:30 p.m., the Dome field), 4) Welcome Home College Town Social, a block party in downtown Bluefield, Virginia, featuring food, prizes, music, and community fellowship (Sunday, August 27, 3 p.m.), 5) Community Fair, showcasing the churches, businesses, and services of Greater Bluefield (Tuesday, August 29, 11 a.m., BC Quad), and 6) contemporary Christian music concert with award-winning singer/songwriter Chris Rice (Thursday, August 31, 8 p.m., Harman Chapel, $15 for the public at the door).

Bluefield College is a private Christian college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). With the strength of its caring faculty and continuing efforts to make higher education accessible to the region, BC is ranked among the top 50 comprehensive undergraduate colleges in the South by U.S. News and World Report and is recognized as the most affordable private college in Virginia by the Lumina Foundation for Education.

For more information on registration, classes and/or Welcome Week activities, please call the Registrar's Office at 276-326-4348, the Admissions Office at 276-326-4214 or the Public Relations Office at 276-326-4212, or visit the BC web site at www.bluefield.edu.

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Frazier Joins Admissions Staff

Bluefield College recently welcomed a new addition to its family of student recruiters. Rev. Bryan Frazier joined the BC Admissions team as a traditional admissions counselor.

A native of Narrows, Virginia, Frazier attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned a master of divinity degree in 2003. Soon after, he worked four years as a missionary church planter for the North American Mission Board and the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists. In that position, he established and served as pastor of Silver Springs Baptist Church.

Before his call to ministry, Frazier served in the United States Marine Corps from 1992 to 1996 as a ground supply officer. He is also a graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

"I have an understanding of what small colleges have to offer to students," Frazier said about his new position with Bluefield College. "In this day and age, I feel it is of the utmost importance to the Christian community that its young people study and grow in a Christian environment where their faith is encouraged."

Outside of his career, Frazier is an assistant cubmaster and scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, a coach and field coordinator with the Monroe County Soccer League, and a Sunday School teacher and youth leader for First Baptist Church in Narrows.

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Carroll Gets Promotion in Advancement

BC's Betty Carroll, an administrative assistant for the Office of Institutional Advancement, is enjoying a new title and new responsibilities within the Advancement area.

Carroll is now the special assistant to the vice president for institutional advancement, and in this new role she will be responsible for supporting the office's efforts for the BC Fund for Scholarships, including mailings and reporting for the BC Fund. She will also provide assistance for the Annual Fund Phonathon and continue to support Public Relations and Alumni Relations.

A native of Bluefield, Virginia, Carroll is a graduate of Elon University. She joined the BC family in the fall of 1999.

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Bluefield College Family and Community Bids Farewell to President Dan MacMillan

Dozens of local residents along with members of the Bluefield College family filled BC's Shott Hall on Saturday, July 22 to bid farewell to the school's departing president, Dr. Dan MacMillan.

Dr. MacMillan announced his resignation from the Virginia Baptist college on June 13 after nine years of dedicated service to the school, and with just days remaining before his planned departure, BC faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community friends came together to offer best wishes to the president and to thank him for his service to the college and the community.

"I hate to see him go," said local civic leader Charles Sacre. "He and [his wife] Sandy have meant a lot to this community. They've become dear friends to us."

For more than two hours, local civic and community leaders, along with the Bluefield College family trickled into Shott Hall to pay tribute to the school's eighth president, who is leaving the college for a position with Dallas Baptist University.

"I'm a Bluefield native, a Bluefield College alumnus, and a longtime member of the Bluefield College Board of Trustees," said BC Chairman of the Board Dan Grabeel, "and I can honestly say that Dr. MacMillan's presidency is comparable to that of the legendary Dr. Charles Harman."

During Dr. MacMillan's tenure, Bluefield College created six new majors of study, including four for traditional students and two for adults in the degree-completion program. Under the president's direction, BC also earned four straight years of inclusion in U.S. News and World Report's listing of "America's Best Colleges," including a Top 50 ranking in each of the last three years. And, after a two-year-long, concentrated self-assessment and an intense on-site evaluation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), BC earned its reaffirmation of accreditation in 2003.

"These are not personal accomplishments," the president said when his list of successes were read during the farewell reception. "They are the accomplishments of a fine group of dedicated faculty and staff. I could not have achieved what I achieved without their support and the support of our Board of Trustees."

Under Dr. MacMillan's guidance, Bluefield College constructed the Cox Visual Arts Center in 2000 and the Skidmore Facility Management Center in 2005. The president also orchestrated a host of renovation projects during his nine-year tenure, including physical improvements to the Student Activities Center, the BC Bookstore, Harman Chapel, the Dome Gymnasium, Lansdell Hall, and Rish Hall.

During his tenure, Bluefield College also renewed its covenant with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, formed an alliance with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), and penned a new mission and vision statement.

As an extension of their expression of thanks, alumni and friends presented gifts to Dr. MacMillan and the First Lady during the farewell reception. The Board of Trustees gave the couple a seven-day Alaskan cruise. Other gifts included an authentic American flag flown over hostile air space in Iraq by BC alumnus and Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter pilot Phillip Brashear.

"Leaving Bluefield and all of our friends and associates is bittersweet," the president said, "but I feel called to move to Dallas Baptist at this time to enter the next chapter of my life."

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Bluefield College Alumni Give Generously to Annual Phonathon

Bluefield College recently completed its spring 2006 Annual Fund Phonathon, and alumni and friends of the college pledged more than $34,000 to the effort -- the second highest pledge total in BC Phonathon history.

For two straight weeks this spring, 14 current Bluefield College students phoned some 4,228 former students and friends soliciting support for the BC Fund for Scholarships. More than 5,200 alumni were contacted in an advance Phonathon mailing. The advance mailer generated $7,415 in gifts from 100 donors, while solicitations from students by phone produced $26,847 in gifts and pledges from 315 donors for a total of $34,262 in gifts and pledges to date.

"We greatly appreciate the support of our alumni and friends," said Ruth Blankenship, associate vice president of institutional advancement and coordinator of BC's Phonathon. "Once again, they have demonstrated their generosity and their love for this school, and current students will continue to have access to vital financial aid because of alumni giving."

Proceeds from the Phonathon go directly to the BC Fund for Scholarships, which is the primary financial resource for institutional financial aid for students. More than 90 percent of BC students depend on financial aid to be able to afford their college experience.

BC's best Phonathon gift total ever was in 2004 when callers solicited $39,000 from alumni and friends, but this year's total, according to Blankenship, is even more significant than that record year. In 2004, she said, the college outsourced its Phonathon, creating higher operating costs, which cut into the total dollar amount that actually went to students. Bringing Phonathon back in-house and using current students the past two years, Blankenship added, has made Phonathon more profitable than ever.

"One hundred percent of our Phonathon callers are BC students now," Blankenship said. "We are not only saving money this way and increasing our profits, but we are also making wonderful connections between our current and former BC students."

Phonathon calculations also indicate that the average gift pledge is $92 per donor, a remarkable average considering last year's $62 per donor figure was an all-time high for BC. In addition, of the 415 donors who pledged or gave to date this year, 45 are new or first-time givers.

"I think it is amazing how supportive and considerate Bluefield College alumni are," said BC junior Amanda Grose about her experience soliciting gifts for Phonathon. "It was exciting to talk with them and to be a part of something that will benefit students like me."

Grose, of Pocahontas, Virginia, added that sharing time with alumni during the Phonathon taught her more about the history of Bluefield College. She said the experience also gave her a better understanding of the importance of being a BC donor.

"Most students begin to appreciate their college experience sometime after they graduate," Grose said, "but I realized while working Phonathon that Bluefield College is always working for its students, trying to make their experience as cost efficient as possible, and I appreciate that."

Other current BC students who joined Grose for Phonathon this spring included: Chad Arnold of Fries, Virginia; Myra Bankert of Buchanan, Virginia; Matt Beavers of Bluefield, Virginia; Kim Carroll of Giles, Virginia; Jesse Flowers of Bluefield, Virginia; Bobby Hall of Bluefield, West Virginia; Jeremy Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia; Jaimie Hobbs of Covington, Virginia; Kim Jeter of Richmond, Virginia; Chaka Meney of Lignum, Virginia; Sarah Mills of Amissville, Virginia; Brandy Stevens of Richlands, Virginia; and Rachel Wallace of Halifax, Virginia.

The college also received gift certificates, coupons and other giveaways as donations to offer as incentives and prizes to students during the two weeks of Phonathon.

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Bluefield College Names Outstanding Adult Degree-Completion Students

For the first time in school history, outstanding students in Bluefield College's Adult Degree-Completion Program were recognized as Students of the Year during the school's traditional year-end Academic Honors Convocation, Wednesday, May 3.

Approximately 800 total students are enrolled at Bluefield College, nearly half of which are working adults pursuing degrees on the BC campus and at class sites across the state through the school's accelerated degree-completion program.

And, while the college customarily honors its traditional college-age students with year-end academic awards, the same was not the case for the adult scholars pursuing bachelor's degrees in three majors of study -- organizational management and leadership (OML), criminal justice (CRJ) and behavioral science (BHS). That is...until this year.

"Last year, I realized that degree-completion students were not being recognized at the Honors Convocation," said Dr. Don Caudill, chair of the OML division of the adult degree-completion program, "even though they account for half of the college's total student population. So, I decided to make an award available to our deserving adult students."

In fact, Dr. Caudill donated the funds necessary to establish an annual award in memory of his late father, Alfred Caudill, and in honor of his mother, Shirley Wampler Caudill. And, this year, for the first time ever, the Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Adult Student of the Year Awards were presented to Teresa H. "Terri" Stuart, Phillip Charles Hunnel, and Anne Elizabeth Hickman.

Stuart, of Pulaski, Virginia, who attends BC classes in Wytheville, Virginia, won the Student of the Year award for the OML program.

"The award was truly a wonderful surprise and a tremendous honor," Stuart said, "but I have long believed that the accomplishments of a student are, to a large degree, a reflection of the quality of the educator. This award and my successful completion of the OML program are proof of that."

"In my 25 years of teaching at the university level, I have taught only a handful of students who were as competent, ethical and dedicated as Terri," Dr. Caudill said about the OML Student of the Year. "She was friendly, enthusiastic, a team player, and demonstrated that she was willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve a degree from Bluefield College."

Hickman, of Tazewell, Virginia, who attends classes for the adult program on the BC campus in Bluefield, won the BHS Student of the Year honor.

"It (receiving the award) was one of the most exciting events of my life," Hickman said. "I certainly did not expect an award for studying diligently and trying to be successful. My employer thinks it was a great honor and was pleased that I was able to receive this award."

"Determination, persistence, strength, and sense of humor come to mind when I think of Anne Hickman," said Oscar Gomez, an instructor in the behavioral science portion of the adult program. "She always had an encouraging word for her fellow students and a smile for her instructor. We started the first behavioral science class as student and instructor. We finished as friends. I am honored to know her."

Hunnel, of Crozier, Virginia, who attends BC classes in Powhatan, Virginia, won the Student of the Year award for criminal justice.

"Phillip is the consummate learner," said Michelle Newton-Francis, chair of the CRJ portion of the adult program, about her Student of the Year. "He had a true thirst for knowledge and to be both a student of books and of life experiences. He brought mental, physical, and spiritual maturity to our program and his cohort."

The recipients of the awards were nominated by faculty members in the adult degree-completion program. Chairs from each respective major -- Dr. Caudill (OML), Newton-Francis (CRJ), and Dr. Elizabeth Gomez (BHS) -- made the final selections based on academic achievement, leadership, and character. Each of the winners received award plaques and cash prizes.

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Bluefield College Hosts 300 Christians for Reformed Family Bible Conference

Bluefield College served as host of the Fourth Annual Reformed Family Bible Conference, June 21-24, which brought more than 340 Christians on campus for a study of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Ten Commandments.

The conference, entitled "Why America Needs Jesus and His Ten Commandments," involved Christians from eight different states, including California and Texas, most of whom are members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of the United States (RPCUS) in a variety of lectures, seminars, Bible studies, and worship sessions.

"This was a great opportunity to meet with fellow believers," said Susan Lambert, a participant from Red Ash, Virginia, "and to fellowship with like-minded people. It was a blessing for us to meet together."

The focus of the conference, according to Henry Johnson, coordinator of the event and a pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Tazewell, Virginia, was "to encourage Christian families, to share the gospel, and to promote spiritual growth."

"The message we hoped to share was that the Bible is applicable to every day life in all its facets - church, business, career or college life," Johnson said. "The Bible has practical answers to issues in every day life."

Specifically, through seminars and studies on "Rediscovering God's Law and Reformation, "Biblical Law and Natural Law," "Adam, Christ, and the Ten Commandments," "Heroes of the Faith," and "How to Pray for Those Who Hate God's Law," the more than 300 Christians examined the relationship between the law and the gospel.

"The conference, we hope, helped people understand how the gospel and the Ten Commandments fit together," Johnson said. "Without the law, we wouldn't know right from wrong, and because we don't measure up to the law, we need the gospel. We need Jesus."

The keynote speaker for the event was the Honorable Chief Justice Roy Moore, a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Judge Moore, who has been accused of "breaking the rule of law" for his position that we should "obey God first and not man first," shared history from court cases as far back as 1947 that support the argument that America is a "Christian nation."

"I really enjoyed Judge Moore," said Jeanie Howell from Trinity Presbyterian Church. "He is a Godly, humble man."

The Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States was formed in 1983 out of the "continuing struggle to uphold the all-embracing, inerrant authority of the Bible as the Word of God, to maintain the purity of the church, and to proclaim the truth of the Reformed Faith." The church holds to the "original Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms" and is committed to Westminster Standards.

Bluefield College will host the Reformed Family Bible Conference again next year, June 20-23.

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June

Bluefield College Pays Tribute to Retiring Professor with Scholarship Fund

Longtime Bluefield College Professor Gerald Clay shaped the future of education during his 36-year tenure with BC, and despite his retirement in May of 2006, his legacy of influence will continue on campus through the Gerald E. Clay Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education.

Dr. Clay, known as the founder of Bluefield College's Division of Education, bid farewell to the institution at the close of the 2005-2006 academic year, but not before offering nearly four decades of service and influence on the future educators of society.

He came to BC in 1970 and shortly thereafter designed the curriculum for the school's Teacher Education Program, today one of the most popular majors on campus. During his 36-year tenure with the school, he served as a professor of education and foreign languages, chair of the Division of Education, director of institutional effectiveness, and chair of the committee on reaffirmation of accreditation. More importantly, according to Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, BC's vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Clay served as the foundation for many teacher education careers.

"Scores of teachers and administrators have built their careers on the solid foundation they received from Dr. Clay," Dr. Gomez said. "The entire region owes him thanks for the quality teachers he has placed in area schools. His wisdom and institutional memory have made him an invaluable resource at Bluefield College. He has blessed us with deep insight, and his legacy will never leave us."

Specifically, his legacy will live on through the Clay Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education, created by colleagues, alumni and friends shortly after the announcement of Dr. Clay's retirement so that "his love of teaching continue through the students who are assisted by the scholarship." Designed to make teacher education at Bluefield College more accessible to aspiring educators, the Clay Scholarship, according to BC alumni, is more than just another source of student financial aid.

"I will always be deeply grateful for what Dr. Clay did for me and all the other teacher education students who passed through the program at Bluefield College," said Dr. Watson, a BC Teacher Education alumna who after a career in public school teaching joined Dr. Clay as a professor in the BC Division of Education. "He is one of the most knowledgeable people about teacher education in Virginia."

Recipients of the Clay Scholarship, to be known as Clay Scholars, are to be students who have been formally admitted to the BC Teacher Education Program, who display outstanding achievement in their education courses, and who have demonstrated financial need. Scholarship awards may be used to purchase textbooks and other classroom-related supplies, pay for professional testing, or assist with expenses related to student teaching off campus.

Because the Clay Scholarship is designed to be an endowed scholarship, it will help preserve the longtime BC professor's legacy forever. In other words, once the scholarship fund reaches a specific balance determined by the college's fundraising officials and created from original donations, it will become endowed, meaning the seed gifts are never disbursed, but instead invested. Earnings from that principal are what become available as scholarship dollars. The original seed gifts remain indefinitely.

"Endowed scholarships are permanent," said Ruth Blankenship, BC's associate vice president for institutional advancement. "They are designed to last forever. This scholarship will benefit Bluefield College students in perpetuity and will preserve the legacy of Dr. Clay for years and years to come."

During his nearly four decades of influence at Bluefield College, Dr. Clay also received the school's Distinguished Faculty Award on three occasions and earned an Honorary Doctorate from the institution in 2003. The longtime professor's products include secondary school teachers, guidance counselors, principals, school superintendents, college professors, members of state boards of education, and other teaching professionals.

"His influence will be seen not only through the teachers and administrators who have graduated from our program, but also through the untold thousands of their students who have benefited indirectly by his wonderful teaching," Dr. Watson added. "He always presented a Christ-like example of how a teacher should be. We will miss his leadership and his expertise."

For more information about the availability of Clay Scholarship dollars, how to contribute to the preservation of the Clay legacy, or how to establish your own scholarship at Bluefield College, please call 276-326-4211 or visit the BC web site at www.bluefield.edu/clayscholar.

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Area Youth Learn Basketball the Bluefield College Way

Dozens of area youth swarmed the Bluefield College Dome Gymnasium, June 26-30, to hone their basketball skills during the school's second of three summer hoop camps for kids.

Bluefield College head men's basketball coach Jason Gillespie hosted the five-day camp, which featured instruction in the fundamentals of the game, teamwork, footwork, competition, motivation, and enthusiasm.

Coach Gillespie and his staff, including assistant coach Steve Hardin and current and former Ramblin' Rams, also taught the kids a few tricks of the trade, according to campers.

"This is my first year - first year of playing basketball, too," said Evan Hayes of Bluefield, West Virginia, about his first experience at the BC camp. "Me and my brother have a friend that comes to the camp, and he showed us different tricks he learned here. He said it was fun, so we came, and we've learned different stuff, too."

The camp workouts, which began at 9 a.m. each day and ended at 4 p.m., also featured devotions and lessons in physical fitness. In addition, the kids took home free camp t-shirts as a reminder of their week of learning basketball the Bluefield College way.

"We worked really hard on our free throws," said camper Damien Foley of Brushfork, West Virginia, participating in his third BC clinic. "I enjoyed the five-on-five games, and I liked playing one-on-one."

Coach Gillespie will host one final basketball camp for area youth, July 17-21. For a camp registration form or for more information, contact Coach Gillespie at 276-326-4555 or the BC Department of Athletics at 276-326-4253, or visit the Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu/camps.

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Bluefield College Grad Named to Virginia State Board of Education

Bluefield College alumnus Dr. Thomas Brewster is using his training in the BC Teacher Education Program to its fullest potential. In fact, the 1991 graduate was recently appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to serve as a member of the Virginia State Board of Education.

Dr. Brewster, of Falls Mills, Virginia, will serve a three-year term on the State Board. He will bring nearly 15 years of public education experience to the panel.

After graduating from the Bluefield College Teacher Education Program in 1991, Dr. Brewster earned a master's degree in educational leadership from Radford University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech. He began his career as a social studies teacher at Graham High School in Bluefield, Virginia, before becoming an assistant principal at Tazewell (VA) High School and then later a principal at Pocahontas (VA) High School.

Today, he is an assistant professor of education and director of institutional assessment at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. In addition to graduating with honors from Bluefield College in 1991, Dr. Brewster earned the school's Distinguished Young Alumnus Award in 2005 for "having distinguished himself within his community and his career after just more than a decade since graduation."

"When we asked other educators in this area about Tom Brewster, they had nothing but good things to say about him," said Bluefield College Alumni Director Teresa Stanley.

Outside of work and in addition to his service on the Virginia State Board of Education, Dr. Brewster is president of Historic Pocahontas Incorporated, vice president of the Southern West Virginia Road Runners Association, chairman of the Tazewell County Democratic Committee, a member of the Board of Directors for the Bluefield Business and Professional Association, and a member of the Virginia Tourism Authority.

Dr. Brewster's wife, Debra, also earned her endorsement for teaching at Bluefield College in 2000. She is an English teacher at Graham High School in Bluefield, Virginia.

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Bluefield College Serves as Host Site for Youth on Mission

As part of its longstanding tradition of missions and community service, Bluefield College was the host site for 53 young people serving on mission in the Greater Bluefield community, June 11-16.

As one of just 14 sites throughout the Appalachian Region to be selected as a host for Youth on Mission during the summer of 2006, Bluefield College served as missions central for dozens of youth from across Southeastern America looking to "serve God through service to others."

"It's amazing that these young people are willing to sacrifice a week of their time to do this," said Youth on Mission Team Leader David Parkhurst about his group's stay at Bluefield College and its work in the local community. "And, they don't do this with frowns on their faces. They do it because they want to, with smiles, because they know they're doing something for someone and they're serving God."

Representing three separate churches - Hanceville Baptist Church in Hanceville, Alabama, First Presbyterian Church in Debary, Florida, and First United Methodist Church in Okeechobee, Florida - the youth spent five days in the community, repairing dilapidated homes, conducting Vacation Bible Schools, and volunteering at local food pantries.

"There are so many needs in this country, so many opportunities to serve," said Stephen Nabors, another Youth on Mission team leader. "That's why we do this. That's why I want to go into missions."

Working in conjunction with area service organizations and churches, the Youth on Mission restored a home on Carter Street in Bluefield and on Thornton, Valley and Fifth Streets in Princeton. They also hosted a Vacation Bible School at Harvest Outreach Center in Princeton, and volunteered their time to serve at the Tender Mercies food Pantry in Princeton.

"Everyone has been so appreciative," said Tara Threewits of Okeechobee who helped run the Harvest Vacation Bible School. "It's amazing to watch the kids at VBS as we bring God into their lives. The experience has been wonderful."

The youth's service to Four Seasons Country also included a Backyard Bible Club in a local neighborhood, door-to-door surveying for an area church, and local nursing home ministry.

"The people have been truly delighted," Parkhurst said about the response his missionaries received from the local beneficiaries. "It's wonderful to see their faces after the final product. They're very grateful, sometimes overwhelmed. I thank God for what these young people are doing in this community. God sent them here."

In addition to utilizing Bluefield College as their host site for missions in the Greater Bluefield community, the youth used BC for Bible studies, variety shows, and praise and worship sessions, which they carried out when they weren't busy working on service projects.

"It's really relaxing here," Nabors said about his stay on the Bluefield College campus and in Four Seasons Country. "It's very pretty, and the people are really nice. The people have been extremely helpful."

Founded in 1992, Youth on Mission seeks to mobilize young people in hands-on mission involvement in a variety of settings, including Appalachia, resulting in lifestyle evangelism and spiritual growth. Since its origin, more than 42,000 youth, including the 53 this summer on the Bluefield College campus, from 38 states and several denominations have participated.

The Bluefield College participation in Youth on Mission this summer is just one of many ways the school takes part in service to others. In March of this year, BC students shared in a mission trip to Brazil. Last year, BC students participated in a relief mission effort to the Gulf Coast Region, a music mission trip to Europe, and a relationship evangelism mission to Nanjing, China. In previous years, the school has served on mission in Poland, South Africa, Bluefield, and McDowell County, West Virginia.

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Area Youth Invited to Fine Arts Camp at Bluefield College

Bluefield College will host a summer Fine Arts Camp, July 24-28, featuring instruction and activities in art, music, drama, storytelling, and exercise.

Rising first through sixth graders with an interest in the fine arts are invited to take part in the Monday through Friday day camp, sponsored by the BC Fine Arts Community School (FACS).

Campers will rotate each day through five classes from 8:50 a.m. to 3 p.m. The art class, taught by local artist Cynthia Tilley, will provide campers with the opportunity to create a painting, produce a sculpture, and weave with fibers.

The music section, taught by Bluefield College assistant professor of music Bryant Moxley, will allow campers to experience and explore music through movement, instruments, choral singing, rhythmic activities and more.

The drama session, taught by BC instructor of theatre arts Rebecca McCoy Reese, will feature games and exercises to help stimulate the imagination. During the drama session, participants will also learn to work as a team on stage.

Storytelling, taught by BC instructor of theatre arts Charles Reese, will include games and exercises designed to stimulate the imagination and develop the skills of storytelling.

And, exercise, taught by instructors from the Bluefield Wellness Center, will feature Junior Jazzercise, kickboxing, strength training, and a workout on an obstacle course.

Campers will need to bring a packed lunch each day. Drinks and chips will be provided. Cost for the five-day camp is $90. Discounts are available for multiple children.

In addition, the Fine Arts Community School will also offer a Fine Arts Camp for pre-schoolers, ages 4-5, the same week, July 24-28.

The preschool summer camp will run from 9 a.m. to noon each day and will feature instruction in art and music. Local artist Holly Kuster will teach the art class, while local musician Janet Crawford will teach the music section. The cost for the half-day pre-school camp is $65.00 per child. Discounts are available for multiple children, and a snack will be provided for the preschoolers each day.

Bluefield College's Fine Arts Community School (FACS) has been in existence for more than 13 years. Its purpose is to enable children and adults in the area to explore and study the arts with the guidance of mentors who have appropriate training and experience.

For more information about the BC summer Fine Arts Camp, call 276-326-4246 or 276-326-4212.

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Bluefield College Hopes Girls Hoop Camp Sets Stage for Lady Rams Future

The Bluefield College Lady Rams are looking to the future, far into the future with the help of a three-day girls' basketball camp, which concluded on campus June 14.

Even before the last ball bounced to wrap up the girls' summer hoop camp, Lady Rams head basketball coach Cheryl Fielitz-Scarbrough was thinking about recruiting for the future, maybe even using the camp as a tool to scout and lure some local talent.

"There's some good talent here," Fielitz-Scarbrough said about the crew of girls participating in the BC June camp. "We have a couple of eighth graders that are pretty good. I'm definitely going to keep my eye on them."

When Fielitz-Scarbrough became the head coach at Bluefield College, a girls hoop camp was only a pie-in-the-sky dream. But eventually, she decided to join the fray and begin a camp of her own.

"My first couple years here, I just didn't know, because there are so many other camps in the area," admitted Fielitz-Scarbrough, who is also the camp's director. "Even the YMCA uptown has a camp for free."

But, campers paid $90 each for the privilege of private instruction by the Bluefield College coaches over three days in the Dome with meals and a gift bag included. The most important things the campers gained, however, were experience and fun.

"We had some that were here last year, and they said they enjoyed it so they're back again this year," Fielitz-Scarbrough said. "That's a good sign that they come back. They're enjoying it here."

And, the campers are not the only ones gaining valuable experience. Alysha Cornell of Mansfield, Ohio, is expected to be a sophomore star for the Lady Rams basketball squad next season. But, right now she is preparing for a different career.

"I wanna coach someday, and I like the interaction with all the kids," said Cornell, who is assisting with instruction at the BC camp. "Learning how to teach and how they respond really helps me. They're getting better, and that makes me feel really good."

Cornell, an exercise and sport science major at the college, has felt good about the game of basketball for years now, and she wants to make it a permanent part of her life.

"I wanna get my teaching degree and be a gym coach," Cornell said. "I wanna coach high school, and this definitely helps. I love coaching basketball. I figure, why not turn it into part of my profession."

While Cornell may be the future coach of the Lady Rams, the current coach is looking at this camp as a way to not only scout prospects, but also a means to give back to Bluefield through the gift of mentoring.

"It's important to the fact that some of these kids will come and watch us play this year as fans," Fielitz-Scarbrough explained. "The community sees you're doing something for them as well as developing basketball skills."

And, according to the BC coach, if the campers continue to nurture their basketball skills, the possibilities are excellent that they may go from being idle spectators to active participants.

"If they keep coming back (to the BC basketball camp) and keep developing, it will be a good feeder system for our program," Fielitz-Scarbrough said. "In the meantime, they can come watch our games and be Ram fans and later Lady Rams."

Bluefield College will host two additional summer basketball camps for area youth, June 26-30 and July 17-21, under the guidance of head men's hoop coach Jason Gillespie. To register or for more information, please call 276-326-4212.

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Bryan and Merritt Earn Professional Distinctions

Continuing to demonstrate the level of academic excellence at Bluefield College, two BC professors were recently honored with professional distinctions.

Dr. Scott Bryan, a professor of exercise and sport science, was recently selected to be published in "College Faith 3: 150 Christian Leaders and Educators Share Faith Stories from their Student Days."

Dr. Bryan's testimonial story was one of 150 (out of 400 submitted) selected for the faith publication, scheduled for publication later this month.

Dr. Bryan, a member of BC's faculty since 1986, is chair of the Division of Exercise and Sport Science. During his 20-year tenure, he has been the recipient of the Students' Choice Educator of the Year Award in 2005 and the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1989.

Dr. Rob Merritt, a BC professor of English, recently led a workshop as part of the National Poetry Therapy Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The experience, which involved writers, educators and health care professionals, included a day trip to Walden Pond and other literary sites.

Dr. Merritt, a part of the BC faculty since 1990, is chair of the Division of Literature, Language and Communication. During his 16-year tenure, he has also served as faculty advisor for the school's Honor Society and for the student-produced literary magazine, The Bluestone Review. In addition, he is co-author of an online electronic literary magazine called the Nantahala Review.

"We are proud of these professors and others who continue to stay professionally active and who represent the college so well," said Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, vice president for academic affairs.

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BC's Sinsabaugh Shares Expertise on Management

Dr. Larry Sinsabaugh, an instructor of organizational management and development in BC's adult degree-completion program, is sharing his expertise on management and counseling. In fact, Dr. Sinsabaugh recently contributed to a book entitled Principles and Practices of Case Management in Rehabilitation Counseling.

In the book, scheduled to be published in January 2007, Dr. Sinsabaugh co-authored sections on "Career Development and Job Placement Strategies: Considerations for the Rehabilitation Counselor" and "Career and Occupational Case Abstracts."

One of this year's adult degree-completion program Faculty of the Year Award recipients, Dr. Sinsabaugh is a licensed professional counselor, certified professional counselor, certified rehabilitation counselor, national certified counselor, certified disability management specialist, certified case manager, certified employee assistance professional, and certified professional in human resources.

In addition to his duties with Bluefield College, Dr. Sinsabaugh's teaching experience also includes positions with Central Michigan University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Outside of the classroom, he is chief executive officer of Sinsabaugh Consulting Services, specializing in private sector rehabilitation and forensic practice. He has extensive rehabilitation counseling experience in both state and federal rehabilitation programs.

Dr. Sinsabaugh is also the associate editor of the Journal of Forensic Vocational Analysis, a leading journal for the forensic vocational practitioner, and he is member of the Board of Directors for the American Board of Vocational experts where his service has been acknowledged twice with the receipt of the President's Award.

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Bluefield College Student Uses Summer to Serve on Mission in China

While most college students will be taking advantage of their traditional summer break to relax, vacation or travel, Bluefield College rising senior Sara Hubble will be using the spare time to serve on mission halfway around the world in China.

As part of a Virginia Baptist Mission Board venture in Zhangye, China, Hubble and three other volunteers will be working with Amity International during the months of June and July teaching English to Chinese instructors and students.

"I have been interested in mission work since I was about nine years old and have always loved reading about Lottie Moon and the work she did in China," said Hubble, a native of Mechanicsville, Virginia. "[BC Campus Minister] David Taylor worked hard to get me in touch with a missionary in China, and through them I applied and was accepted into the Amity program."

During the eight weeks in China, Hubble and her English-speaking missionaries will teach three sessions of English to approximately 30 students each day. The instruction will also include a daily hands-on learning activity for all the 100 students involved.

"I look forward to growing closer to the team I'll be working with," Hubble said about her expectations for the summer mission. "I also am excited about being tossed out of my comfort zone. It is a good feeling to know that by taking a step of faith God can use me to impact people He loves on the other side of the world."

While most of her classmates are on vacation trips or relaxing this summer, Hubble, who also participated in a Bluefield College student mission trip to Brazil this past spring, said she's convinced that going to China is what she needs to be doing with her spare time.

"The way this opportunity arose and how smoothly things have been going in every way, including financially, are just small ways in which I see God working to make this happen," Hubble said. "Besides that, there is a certain peace found in accepting and doing God's will, and throughout the whole planning process I have gained a sense of joy and peace about this trip."

An active member of BC's Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) team, Hubble is a past participant of BCM's Fall Conference at Eagle Eyrie. In addition to her two mission trips abroad, she has served on multiple Impact Teams, ministering to youth at various Virginia Baptist churches through lock-ins, youth rallies, and worship services.

A rising BC senior, Hubble is also a resident assistant on campus, secretary of the Student Union Board, a senator for the Student Government Association, a member of Alpha Delta sorority, and a member of BC's creative ministries team.

Campus Minister David Taylor, who recommended Hubble for the summer mission with the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, said the experience should give the young BC student "a better understanding of the Chinese culture," "a greater love and appreciation for America," and "a deeper love for the Chinese people." He said that while on mission in Brazil this past spring, Hubble demonstrated tremendous gifts of "grace and compassion." These gifts and her Christ-like spirit, he added, will make her a great servant during the summer China trip.

"After this experience Sara will never be the same," Taylor said. "She will learn how to share the gospel in new and different ways as she ministers with and among the Chinese children and their families. And, she will return to the states with a desire to be involved in missions for the rest of her life, either as a vocation or at least volunteering some of her time each year."

The Bluefield College mission presence in China this summer is just one of many ways the school joins the Virginia Baptist Mission Board in its service abroad. In addition to the journey to Brazil in March 2006, BC students participated in a music mission trip to Europe in the summer of 2005, a relationship evangelism mission to Nanjing, China in the spring of 2005, and in other mission projects in Poland and South Africa in previous years.

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President Dan MacMillan Bids Farewell to Bluefield College

After nine years of dedicated service that saw Bluefield College grow in its commitment to being a Christ-centered institution and its mission to "change the world one graduate at a time," BC President Dan MacMillan has bid farewell to the institution that he positioned to become "the premier small Christ-centered college in the region."

In a letter to the Bluefield College Board of Trustees on June 7, President MacMillan announced his planned resignation from BC's chief executive post, a position he has held since 1997.

During his tenure -- in conjunction with the school's Purpose Statement, which describes an ambition of growth in mind, body and spirit for students -- Dr. MacMillan helped Bluefield College grow academically, physically and spiritually.

Academically, the institution grew through the creation of six new majors during Dr. MacMillan's presidency, including four for traditional students and two for adults in the degree-completion program. In an effort to meet the growing demands of prospective students, the president spearheaded the development of new academic programs in theatre arts, graphic communications, online teacher licensure, and youth ministry for traditional students. He led faculty in the formation of behavioral science and e-business and entrepreneurship majors within the adult degree-completion program.

Under Dr. MacMillan's direction, BC also earned national attention for the quality of its academics, most notably through four straight years of inclusion in U.S. News and World Report's listing of "America's Best Colleges." The college appeared among U.S. News' Top 75 Best Comprehensive Colleges in the South in 2002 and then climbed to the Top 50 in each of the last three years, 2003-2005. Other national recognition under Dr. MacMillan's guidance came from the Lumina Foundation for Education when it declared BC the most affordable private college in Virginia.

And, while these benchmarks were sure signs of the growth and the quality of BC's academics, none were more indicative than the reaffirmation of accreditation earned by the college under Dr. MacMillan's leadership in 2003. After a two-year-long, concentrated self-assessment and an intense on-site evaluation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), BC earned its accreditation renewal and a regional academic stamp of approval that will remain with the institution until another reaffirmation period in 2013.

"We will miss Dr. MacMillan as our president and as our friend," said BC Chairman of the Board Dan Grabeel when reflecting on the president's tenure. "He has done a superb job. Bluefield College will benefit from his leadership for years to come."

Physically, under Dr. MacMillan's guidance, Bluefield College grew through significant investments into the construction of new buildings and the restoration of existing structures on campus. BC built the Cox Visual Arts Center in 2000 and more than tripled the size of the instruction space for the its Art Department. The school also created the new Skidmore Facility Management Center in 2005 and more than doubled the space available to its Maintenance Department.

In addition, Dr. MacMillan orchestrated a host of renovation projects during his nine-year tenure, including physical improvements to the Student Activities Center, the BC Bookstore, Harman Chapel, the Dome Gymnasium, Lansdell Hall, and Rish Hall.

Chapel renovations included the addition of a new foyer, a new roof, and new heating and air conditioning systems, along with improvements to the stage, lighting, sound, video and electrical systems, and the restoration of classrooms, music practice facilities, and restrooms. The entire project, the building's first major overhaul since its construction some 40 years ago, totaled $750,000.

Dome renovations involved the installation of a new roof and new lighting, along with the addition of new athletic training equipment and facilities. Lansdell Hall improvements since 1997 included the installation of a new roof and the placement of new furniture, air conditioning systems, window treatments, lighting, and carpet in all of the classrooms, while a Rish Hall project brought new furniture, new lighting, and new bathrooms to this women's residence facility.

Dr. MacMillan also made sure that Bluefield College not only kept pace, but instead became a leader in the use of technology in the classroom and in its administrative offices. In addition to new phone and voice mail systems in 2002, a new campus-wide database software system in 2003, and a new web site in 2004, the president led BC in the creation of 11 new SMART technology classrooms on campus. These new state-of-the-art learning facilities include high-tech presentation devices, modern projection equipment, SMART Boards, computers, DVD and VHS players, and surround-sound audio systems.

"It is because of the dedication of our fine staff and faculty that much has been accomplished during my tenure at Bluefield College," Dr. MacMillan said about the progress made during his nine-year presidency. "Working together, we have been able to raise more money than previous administrations for the operation and advancement of the college, complete a strategic plan and a facility master plan for the campus, complete campus-wide renovations, enhance technology, earn continued accreditation, and strengthen our academic reputation. Each member of our faculty and staff can be proud of these and many more accomplishments, and I thank them all for their hard work and dedication."

Spiritually, during his tenure, Dr. MacMillan led Bluefield College through a period of rededication to the Christian principles on which it was founded in 1922. In addition to frequent student mission trips with Virginia Baptists, a renewed covenant with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, active participation in the Virginia Baptist Mission Board's Emerging Leaders Initiative, and an alliance with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), the president penned a new mission statement for BC during a Strategic Planning process for the 21st Century.

That new mission -- educating promising students for a life's work, connecting Christian principles and learning, and changing the world one graduate at a time -- would be the driving force for the institution throughout the president's term. And, during the latter part of his administration, not willing to be satisfied with just the school's new mission statement and its renewed commitment to its Christian values, Dr. MacMillan challenged the organization to think even bigger. He envisioned more success and influence for Bluefield College, and the vision statement he now leaves with BC as he bids farewell is to be "the premier small Christ-centered college in the region."

"There is still much to be accomplished," the president said about the future of Bluefield College. "We have laid the foundation upon which the future can be built. This college is poised for a period of growth and expansion, and I am confident the school has great potential for continued prosperity in the years to come. My prayers will continue to be with this institution, and I look forward to seeing the continuation of great things accomplished for His kingdom at Bluefield College."

Dr. MacMillan's last day with Bluefield College will be August 16. Soon after, he will begin his third decade of service to Christian higher education with a tenure at Dallas Baptist University as director of the Ed.D. program for DBU's Gary Cook Graduate School of Leadership. He will also teach and serve as a special assistant to the president.

"I count it a privilege to have been an integral part of the training and development of many men and women at Bluefield College who will be our leaders in the future," Dr. MacMillan said. "It has been my honor to have led and served here for the past nine years. As I leave Bluefield College, I will fondly remember the wonderful people who have helped and supported me. Leaving Bluefield and all of our friends and associates is bittersweet, but I feel called to move to Dallas Baptist at this time to enter the next chapter of my life."

BC's Board of Trustees is actively seeking experienced interim leadership for the school and is beginning its search for a permanent replacement for the institution's eighth president.

"It will be hard to find another leader who will give as much to this institution as Dr. MacMillan did," Dr. Grabeel added. "Our loss will be Dallas Baptist University's gain."

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May

Bluefield College Alumni Give Back to Alma Mater through Scholarship Fund

Two Bluefield College alumni are giving back to their alma mater. Thanks to the difference Bluefield College made in their lives, William Ellis Markham, III, and Martha Greeley Markham of Richmond, Virginia, have established the Ellis and Martha Markham Endowed Scholarship for future BC students.

Mr. Markham, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, attended Bluefield College from 1961 to 1963. After receiving an associate's degree from BC, he earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Virginia Tech, before beginning a career in banking that would take him to Richmond for 15 years, Florida for 19 years, and eventually culminate before his retirement in a position as an executive vice president.

His success in banking and commercial lending, Mr. Markham said, would not have been possible without the "opportunity" he received from Bluefield College to earn his higher education.

"I really didn't apply myself in high school. When I finished, my grades were terrible," Mr. Markham said. "But, Bluefield College gave me an opportunity. Without it, I have no idea where I would be today. This college gave me a chance when no other college would."

Mrs. Markham, a native of King George, Virginia, attended Bluefield College for one year, 1962-63. Her career began as a computer data entry operator, but she later became a homemaker and assisted Mr. Markham with his profession. In addition to acquiring her initial higher education at Bluefield College, she met her future husband. She, too, is thankful for how BC saw promise in a student who had not yet applied himself.

"When Ellis graduated from high school, he had a really low grade point average, and he had to go to summer school," Mrs. Markham said. "Without Dr. [Primitive] Delgado, [then BC's academic dean], giving him a chance, he wouldn't have a college education, and we wouldn't have what we have today."

And, part of what they have today, the Markhams want to give back to the institution that gave them their start. Through a planned giving arrangement and the establishment of the Ellis and Martha Markham Endowed Scholarship, the two BC alumni want to help future Bluefield College students have access to higher education.

"When we started thinking about our estate plans," Mr. Markham said, "we knew we wanted to do something to give back to Bluefield College. This (endowed scholarship fund) is one way to do that. It's a good thing for students. It's a worthwhile contribution."

Markham Scholarship awards will be distributed upon completion of the Last Will and Testament of the Markhams to future Bluefield College students who demonstrate financial need, who possess "good moral character," and who "have some established goals," as determined by their application for admission to Bluefield College. But, according to the Markhams, applicants do not necessarily have to have exceptional academic records.

"Because students who maintain high grade point averages are often offered the majority of the academic scholarship opportunities," the Markhams said, "we wanted to help students who are just as serious and dedicated, but may not have earned high grades."

In fact, the scholarship criteria states that award recipients must possess at least two of the following three standards: 1) a combined SAT score of less than 830 or an ACT score of less than 17, 2) a cumulative high school grade point average of less than 2.3, or 3) a ranking in the lower 50-percentile of their high school graduating class.

The Markham Scholarship is also designed to be an endowed scholarship fund at Bluefield College where seed gifts up to a pre-determined level are invested, and only the earnings from that principal are made available as scholarship awards. As a result, the scholarship fund remains intact indefinitely, and proceeds from its principal benefit students in perpetuity.

"It's our wish that many students will be helped through this scholarship," the Markhams said, "and as a result of the opportunity to earn a college education they will go on to become productive citizens."

For more information about the availability of Markham Scholarship dollars, how to contribute to the support of marginal or "second-chance" BC students, or how to establish your own scholarship at Bluefield College, please call 276-326-4211 or visit the BC web site at www.bluefield.edu/giving.

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Bluefield College Professors Selected for Elite Study of Appalachian Culture

Bluefield College professors Mickey Pellillo and Walter Shroyer are two of only 25 higher education instructors to be selected recently to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities study of the Appalachian culture.

Pellillo and Shroyer were chosen to take part in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, hosted at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia. The four-week Summer Institute, June 5-30, will involve some of the region's most scholarly professors, including Pellillo and Shroyer, in an intense examination of Appalachian issues that link regional study to the liberal arts.

Entitled "Regional Studies for Liberal Arts Learning: An Appalachian Exemplar," the summer seminar will involve the participating professors from regions throughout the country in the study of how regional perspectives affect wider national and global issues, and consequently how regional material can enhance the undergraduate curriculum.

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities -- an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities -- the Summer Institute will engage the educators in discussions, research and activities that will, hopefully, provide answers to questions that connect regional studies to wider humanistic concerns.

For example, the professors will examine whether the forces of change associated with modernization were as abrupt as early modernization theorists have led us to believe. They will consider whether this change was imposed on Appalachia from the outside, or if it was a logical extension of internal forces already at work? And, they will seek to determine how accurate the popular image of Appalachia and Appalachians is today?

Pellillo, Shroyer and the other Summer Institute participants will also examine just how traditional Appalachia was before railroads, massive timbering, and coal mining. They will debate the role in Appalachia of outsiders and of New Deal and Great Society programs. They will consider the impact of industrialization, particularly within the coal industry, and they will take a post-modern look at Appalachia, assessing current prospects of the region and comparing that assessment with stereotypical views.

Pellillo, an assistant professor of English, has served on faculty at Bluefield College for 19 years. She, who recently completed hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, is also director of the school's Cooperative Online Writing Lab. She holds a master's degree from Virginia Tech and bachelor's degree from West Virginia University.

Shroyer, a professor of art at Bluefield College, is chair of the school's Division of Fine Arts. A professor at BC for 15 years, Shroyer is also faculty advisor for the school's Art Club and Hiking Club. He holds a master's degree from Penn State University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia.

"I continue to be amazed by the level of professional involvement our faculty members are able to maintain," said Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, BC's vice president for academic affairs, "and I am proud of their accomplishments."

Upon completion of the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in June, Pellillo, Shroyer and the other participating professors hope to use their experiences to develop instructional material for classes on their respective campuses. They also hope to take what they learn from the summer colloquium to develop scholarly articles or faculty/student exchanges between regions of the country.

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Bluefield College Professor Selected for Travel-Study to Greece

Bluefield College professor Wendy Beavers is going to Greece. The BC assistant professor of history is one of only 18 college professors across the region to be selected by the Appalachian College Association (ACA) to participate in a travel-study program to southern Europe.

Scheduled to take place May 27 through June 10, the two-week ACA venture is designed to develop course materials for the study of ancient Greek religion, and where best to obtain those materials, but Greece.

The Greek travel-study, sponsored by the Appalachian College Association in collaboration with the Center for Hellenic Studies and partially funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will feature trips for research to Athens, Corinth, Nemea, Epidauros, Olympia, and Delphi.

The 18 professors, including Beavers, will take part in a variety of workshops, which will focus on designing teaching materials for a variety of curricular contexts such as art, English, history, philosophy, political science, religion, and theatre. The goal will be to create teaching materials that will invite students to develop a familiarity with ancient Greek culture.

Last summer, two teams of faculty members sponsored by the ACA began work on the first two of five teaching modules: "Daily Life in Ancient Greece" and "Art and Architecture in Ancient Greece." The first of the two initial modules was designed to encourage students to examine the cultural differences among the various city-states in Greece as well as the effect of legal, economic, and social status on the lives of ancient Greeks. The module on art and architecture will challenge students to focus on the visual appearance of ancient Greece and examine how elements in the built environment shaped the experiences of the ancient Greeks and continue to influence human interaction in modern contexts.

This summer, Beavers and her team of professors we will design the third module in the teaching curriculum, "The Festivals and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece," which will build on the work currently underway and provide a context to synthesize elements from the first two modules by examining the nature of social interactions during festivals and the environments in which they took place.

Over the course of the three-year ACA project, participants will create at least five modules that will provide the resources necessary to teach a full semester of study on ancient Greece.

In a somewhat similar professional development opportunity, Beavers will participate in a seminar, entitled "Homer Across the Curriculum: The Iliad," in Washington D.C., July 10-14.

Sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Center for Hellenic Studies, the seminar will offer an opportunity for college professors to examine the many dimensions of the Iliad and explore ways in which the poem can contribute to courses in a variety of disciplines and inform discussions on topics ranging from the exchange of luxury goods to the adjudication of disputes arising from athletic contests.

As one of only 30 college faculty members across the country to be selected for this seminar, Beavers will partner with other professors to examine historical intricacies of the written poem and the relationship between the Greek epic tradition and those of other societies. The group will also study the history of the relationship between Homeric studies and archaeological research. They will also spend time researching Homeric poetry, including a review of numerous translations of the poetry and a comparative study of the English versions that are widely available today.

The purpose of this seminar, like the travel-study to Greece, is to provide an opportunity for professors to contribute ideas, energy, experience, and skills to creating teaching modules for use in different academic settings.

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Bluefield College Recognizes Faithful Supporters

Bluefield College recognized dozens of its supporters during a Donor Appreciation Luncheon, Saturday, May 20 at David's at the Club.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Harold Hazen welcomed the BC benefactors to the honorary event. Hazen thanked the supporters for "standing in the gap" for Bluefield College. Tuition at BC, he said, covers only 80 percent of the cost of an education. Donors, he added, make up the difference or fill in the gap.

"This is a great opportunity for us to say thank you and to let you know how much you mean to Bluefield College," Hazen told the honored guests. "The world needs the product of Bluefield College - young men and women going out into the world and making a difference for Jesus Christ. When you make a gift to Bluefield College, you are making an investment in the lives of these young men and women, and your investment has a tremendous return."

One particular return, 2006 BC graduate Rebecca Asbury of Bluefield, Virginia, shared remarks with the donors. She spoke about how Bluefield College and BC supporters made it possible for her to answer God's call on her life.

"It was important for me to attend a Christ-centered college like Bluefield College to fulfill God's call on my life," Asbury said, "but because Bluefield College is a private college, it was not easy for me to afford my college education. I would not have been able to do it without the financial support I received through scholarships, made available to me through the generosity of donors."

Don Caudill, a BC professor of business, but more importantly a BC donor, shared comments on why he works and gives to Bluefield College. Like most people who give, he said, he gives "to leave a legacy," "to give something back," and for "the sheer joy of giving."

"Giving to Bluefield College will always be a great investment," he told the donors, "because you're giving to God and to God's work."

The Donor Appreciation Luncheon also featured a presentation from President Dan MacMillan on the state of the college. Dr. MacMillan shared details of recent advancements on campus, including the construction of a new Visual Arts Center, the creation of nine high-tech SMART classrooms, and the development of new market-driven academic majors. The improvements, he said, are a direct result of those who support the college and a direct benefit to those who attend the school.

"I want to thank you for what you do to support Bluefield College," the president told the donors. "I want you to know that we work very hard to take your dollars and invest them directly into students."

Dr. MacMillan and Hazen recognized and presented certificates of appreciation to BC's 2005-2006 donors in attendance, including David and Catherine Armbrister, Betty Gardner Bailey, Dr. Don Caudill, Cimarron Coach of Virginia (represented by Keith Janovec), the Stelio and Betty Corte Charitable Foundation (represented by Cathy Payne), Tyler and Eva Easley, Tim and Amy Havens, Harold and Linda Hazen, Gaydell B. Henshaw, Mark Hipes, Laurel Fork Baptist Church (represented by Rev. Joe Schroeder), Dr. Dan and Sandy MacMillan, Dr. Wayne and Ann Massey, Leona Miller, Chris and Dee Shoemaker, the Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation (represented by James H. Shott, III), James H. and Diane Shott, Kelly Somers, Kathleen Stowers, Dr. Donna Watson, John and Patricia Whitmore, and the William A. Wolfe and Phyllis P. Wolfe Foundation (represented by Amy Havens).

During the luncheon, Hazen also shared information about the school's new Dr. Charlie Faith Fund, a commemorative giving club designed to pay tribute to the life, faith, vision and legacy of former BC President Charles Harman. Celebrating 100 years since his birth and 60 years since his inauguration as president of Bluefield College, the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund is intended to provide vital scholarship assistance to BC students, while advancing the vision and preserving the legacy this onetime president.

As part of the overall BC Fund for Scholarships, the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund is open to donors who give at least $1,000 during the year. Charter members of the new giving club were recognized during the Donor Luncheon: David and Catherine Armbrister, John and Tommye Bevich, Dr. Steve and Kathleen Blaydes, Ron and Zane Campbell, Henry Clay Clark, W. Gordon Echols, John and Patricia Ferree, Dr. Bruce and Linda Garrison, Dr. Elizabeth and Oscar Gomez, Coleman and Janet Goodman, the Harold Keene Coal Company, Doug and Janice Hawks, Harold and Linda Hazen, Glenna P. Hoge, Chip and Julie Hurley, Dick and Julie Johnson, Ralph and Shirley Kiser, Albert Lawrence, Henry and Catherine Leonard, Dr. Dan and Sandy MacMillan, Rev. Jack and Phyllis Marcom, Joseph P. McNutt, David and Janet Miller, Denton and Delores Millsaps, Al and Mary Modena, William and Jennie Sue Murdock, Robert Richardson, John and Bonnie Shott, Bobby and Lois Surface, Ted and Susan Tussey, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Van Dyke, Mr. and Mrs. William Van Dyke, Blair Whitt, Alec and Lucy Wilson, and Jack C. Wilson.

"We are pleased to be able to give to the Dr. Charlie Faith Fund," said retired BC Senior Professor David Armbrister who spoke about he and his wife's support of the legacy of Dr. Harman, "and we hope that this fund will grow and be a blessing to the institution that Dr. Harman loved so much."

During the luncheon, Hazen also recognized members of BC's Pillars Society, donors who over time have given at least $250,000 cumulative to the school: the Appalachian College Association, the Estate of Elizabeth French Barlow, the Donald and Maria Cox Charitable Trust, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Drs. Gene and Jane Duremdes, the Hugh I.Shott, Jr. Foundation, June Oblinger Shott, the Estate of Frances Anderson Stallard, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, the Teagle Foundation, the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, the Virginia College Fund, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, and the late William A. Wolfe, Jr.

The event also included an opportunity for donors to play a round of golf at the Bluefield Elks Club or participate in a tour of Historic Bramwell, West Virginia.

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Bluefield College Students Selected to Serve as Citizen Scholars

Two Bluefield College students have been honored for their demonstration of service and leadership on campus and in their communities. BC's Gregory Kane of Dover, Delaware, and Cody White of Roanoke, Virginia, have been selected by the Appalachian College Association as recipients of Citizen Scholar Service Learning Awards.

The Appalachian College Association (ACA) Citizen Scholar Service Learning Awards Program is an initiative designed to support students enrolled at ACA-member institutions by enabling them to conduct service-learning projects in their home or college communities. The program, which features a cash stipend for each of the recipients, was created by the ACA to encourage students to apply the lessons they have learned in the classroom in a practical, real-life community setting. According to ACA organizers, the Citizen Scholars initiative increases the level and quality of community involvement by generating in students an interest in their community before they begin their careers.

"When students leave home for college, studies show that they are less likely to return home for employment upon graduation," the ACA said. "The goal of this program is to equip young people, who have a desire for active citizenship and leadership roles, to find ways to exercise their talents while serving their home and adopted communities."

The program, the ACA added, provides a valuable community service by linking the human and intellectual capital of each college student with local communities who are often depleted when young people go to college and never return.

As 2006 ACA Citizen Scholars, BC's Kane and White will work in their respective hometowns this summer on "specifically identified community priorities." The hope is that through a hands-on approach, the students will apply the knowledge they have acquired so far through their college studies into their work in an effort to reinforce the learning that has taken place on campus.

Kane, a rising sophomore, is a Christian studies major at Bluefield College. He is also an avid biker and, according to Professor Walter Shroyer, who nominated Kane for the award, "an energetic, enthusiastic person," fitting for the Citizen Scholar honor. "Greg's very excited about working outdoors this summer," Shroyer said. "When I heard about this summer opportunity, I thought he would be perfect for it. He will be a pleasure to work with."

White, a rising senior biology major at BC who was nominated for the award by Professor Mickey Pellillo, said the application process for the Citizen Scholar Award involved the completion of an autobiography and an explanation as to how the opportunity would benefit him. He said he also had to submit a service-learning contract, detailing his plans for the summer. But, after completing the taxing application process, he added, he was equally enthused to learn he had been chosen for the award.

"I'm really excited to get the award, because it gives me a great opportunity to get some experience that will help me out in my future career," White said. "I'm hoping this opportunity will help me get my foot in the door for the career that I wish to have after graduation, which is forestry and wilderness and the National Parks Service."

The Appalachian College Association is an organization of 35 independent liberal arts colleges, which provides expanded and enhanced learning opportunities to faculty and students for the purpose of serving the educational and economic well being of the people and communities of Central Appalachia.

Collectively, the higher education institutions that make up the ACA serve more than 39,000 students. The ACA supports these institutions and their students by providing a means to develop and share ideas, information, programs and resources. The ACA strives to promote cooperation and collaboration among its members so that together they might better serve the people of Appalachia through higher education and related services.

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Cruise Foundation Supports Bluefield College Technology Initiative

While Bluefield College has made great strides over the past few years to implement state-of-the art technology into its classrooms, the institution is not satisfied with its progress.

In fact, thanks to a grant from the George M. Cruise Charitable Foundation of Bluefield, West Virginia, BC will soon be exposing its students to even more high-tech instructional equipment.

During the past three years, through the use of grants and institutional funds, Bluefield College has developed nine SMART classrooms on campus, featuring high-tech presentation devices, modern projection equipment, SMART Boards, computers, DVD and VHS players, and surround-sound audio systems. The school's technological advancements have also included, among other developments, the creation of a video conferencing facility that connects the campus to academic environments around the world.

"We have been very fortunate, through grants and institutional funds, to make tremendous improvements to our facilities and to completely change the way we teach on our main campus at Bluefield College," said Ruth Blankenship, BC's associate vice president for institutional advancement. "These improvements would not have been possible without the support of foundations like the George M. Cruise Charitable Foundation."

According Blankenship, the vast improvements in the resources available to teach students on the BC campus is a direct result of the implementation of a primary objective in the school's Strategic Plan for the 21st Century. For the last three years, she said, the college has worked diligently to meet this objective with the help and support of foundations like the Cruise Foundation.

"Thanks to grants like this from Cruise, we have been able to completely change how we teach and learn," Blankenship said. "Our faculty and students have gone from being reactive in the use of technology to proactive in teaching and learning."

But, despite the significant recent advancements in classroom technology, Blankenship said, the school is still striving to further improve its instructional facilities. The Cruise Foundation, she added, stepped up for BC once again, and the Foundation's most recent grant, she said, will allow the college to expose its students to even more "cutting edge technology."

"We are becoming a leader among private colleges in the Appalachian region for the implementation and use of cutting edge classroom technologies," Blankenship said. "We have been contacted by other colleges in the region for information on how we are able to fund such facilities, design them, implement them, and train our faculty."

The Cruise grant will allow the college to purchase five portable instructional units, equipped with Dell laptops, NEC projectors and other state-of-the-art teaching devices. The new equipment, Blankenship said, will enable the college to take its technology to any of its teaching settings on campus and at large.

"Because this technology is portable, it will be available for instructional use in any of our classrooms," Blankenship said, "which means we will be able to make technology resources available to our entire faculty and student populations. Now, all Bluefield College classrooms will be equipped with state-of-the art instructional tools."

Blankenship added that the Cruise Foundation has been very faithful in its support of Bluefield College, particularly its technology initiatives.

"We are grateful that the George M. Cruise Charitable Foundation has once again assisted us in our initiative to improve the learning and teaching facilities on campus," she said. "The Foundation's gift will provide the funds necessary to ensure that all of our students in every classroom are exposed to the latest and the greatest in technology."

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Bluefield College Seniors Accept Diplomas during 83rd Annual Spring Commencement

One hundred eighty-three Bluefield College seniors -- the second largest graduating class in BC history -- received diplomas during the school's 83rd Annual Spring Commencement, Saturday, May 13.

President Dan MacMillan welcomed the capacity crowd -- more than 500 parents, spouses, family members and friends -- to the Dome Gymnasium to celebrate graduation with the seniors. The president encouraged the graduates that as they go out into the world to "use [their] life well," to "add value to [their] life," and to "make Jesus Christ a part of [their] future."

Bluefield College Chairman of the Board Dan Grabeel offered the traditional charge to graduates. Dr. Grabeel thanked the students for choosing BC to pursue their bachelor's degree. The BC chairman of the Board also presented a special proclamation on behalf of his fellow trustees recognizing the "extraordinary dedication" of BC Professor Gerald Clay.

Dr. Clay, known as the founder of BC's Division of Education, is retiring at the close of the 2005-2006 academic year. During his tenure with the college, he has served as a professor of education and foreign languages, chair of the Division of Education, director of institutional effectiveness, and chair of the committee on reaffirmation of accreditation. He also has received the school's Distinguished Faculty Award on three occasions and earned an Honorary Doctorate in 2003.

Outstanding traditional student Jesse Flowers, a business major from Bluefield, Virginia, offered the first of two student Commencement addresses. Flowers, a senior senator for the Student Government Association and a member of Students in Free Enterprise, Phi Beta Lambda, and the Alpha Chi Academic Honor Society, told his fellow classmates that earning their college degree was not only the result of their own hard work, but also the sacrifice of others.

"We owe a debt to the faculty and staff of Bluefield College," Flowers told his classmates, "who poured their lives into teaching us and helping us to graduate."

Flowers said the seniors also owed a debt to God who gave them gifts and the opportunity to pursue a college degree, and to their country and the men and women who are fighting for freedom. Above all, he said, the students owed it to themselves to continue to succeed.

"We owe a debt to ourselves, because after reaching this milestone, we cannot fail ourselves now," Flowers said. "So, pour your fullest passion into your endeavors after graduation. It's what God wants you to do."

Phillip Hunnel, BC's outstanding adult student who earned his criminal justice diploma through the school's adult degree-completion program in Chesterfield, Virginia, offered a similar Commencement address. Hunnel, a Virginia Department of Corrections employee for more than three decades, thanked God and his wife for their efforts in helping him achieve his 40-year-long goal of earning a college degree. He also thanked Bluefield College for providing more than just a college education.

"Allowing religion to be integrated into the learning process was invaluable," said Hunnel, an assistant warden for the James River Correctional Facility. "I thank Bluefield College for remaining true to its Christian mission. The integration of faith and learning will benefit me for years to come."

Hunnel, a Sunday school teacher for Mizpah Christian Church, also expressed appreciation for the uniqueness of BC's adult degree-completion program.

"I thank the administration of Bluefield College for thinking outside of the box and for developing a convenient, flexible accelerated degree-completion program for working adults," Hunnel said. "Without it, many of us would not be here today earning a college degree."

Professor Mickey Pellillo offered additional words of wisdom through a faculty address. Pellillo, an assistant professor of English, used her recent experiences from hiking the entire Appalachian Trail to speak to the graduates.

"We do not stand alone," Pellillo told the seniors. "It's only through the love, help and support of other people and God that we become what we're supposed to become. Value and appreciate everyone in your life for truly no one walks alone."

Dr. MacMillan, along with Vice President Elizabeth Gomez and Registrar Cathy Matherly, conferred the 183 degrees. The graduating seniors were also recognized during a Baccalaureate program prior to Commencement. The traditional faith-focused ceremony featured remarks from President MacMillan and keynote speaker and local family physician Dr. Frank Johnson.

"How could we celebrate your academic achievements without stopping to give God thanks," Dr. MacMillan said in reference to the purpose of Baccalaureate. "This is a wonderful way to celebrate your graduation and to lift up our Lord and thank Him for your accomplishments."

Dr. Johnson told the graduates during Baccalaureate that no matter what field or profession they enter after graduation, they, as believers, will always be ministers.

"If you are a believer, you are a minister," Dr. Johnson said. "When you look to your future and to your purpose, as Christians, know that you are a minister, a disciple, an ambassador for Jesus Christ."

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Bluefield College Presents Distinguished Faculty, Staff Awards

Bluefield College honored its employees during a year-end Faculty/Staff Appreciation Breakfast, Wednesday, May 10. Among the most notable awards presented during the ceremony were the Distinguished Faculty Award, tendered in a tie to Dr. Gerald Clay, professor of education, and Dr. Craig Flowers, professor of chemistry, and the Distinguished Staff Award, given to Diane Shott, assistant to the president.

Bluefield College President Dan MacMillan welcomed faculty and staff to the traditional event. The president thanked employees for their contributions to the successes of the 2005-2006 academic year.

"A lot of good things are happening at this school, and it's because of our dedicated faculty and staff," the president told his employees. "I appreciate so much the efforts of our faculty and staff, and this is a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments and to recognize the people who make us so successful."

Dr. Clay, one of the two faculty members to win the 2006 Distinguished Faculty Award, was recognized for his 36 years of service to the institution. Retiring at the close of the current academic term, Dr. Clay is known as the founder of BC's Division of Education, but more importantly, according to Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, vice president for academic affairs who presented the Distinguished Faculty Awards, as the foundation for many teacher education careers.

"Scores of teachers and administrators have built their careers on the solid foundation they received from Dr. Clay," Dr. Gomez said. "The entire region owes him thanks for the quality teachers he has placed in area schools."

Dr. Clay received the award also because of his "devotion to his students," "commitment to his program," and "loyalty to the institution," Dr. Gomez said. During his 36-year tenure, he has served as a professor of education and foreign languages, chair of the Division of Education, director of institutional effectiveness, and chair of the committee on reaffirmation of accreditation. This year marks the third year the BC senior professor has received the Distinguished Faculty Award. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from Bluefield College.

"As senior faculty member, his wisdom and institutional memory have made him an invaluable resource," Dr. Gomez added. "He has blessed us with deep insight, and his legacy will never leave us."

His counterpart, Dr. Flowers, earned a share of the 2006 Distinguished Faculty Award for his "commitment to his students" and "service to his colleagues," Dr. Gomez said.

"He is known for his love for his students," she explained. "They value him as mentor and friend. He makes learning science fun."

A professor of chemistry at BC since 1991, Dr. Flowers has served on committees for reaffirmation of accreditation, faculty searches, and institutional research. He is also currently serving his co-workers as faculty president.

"As faculty president, he has earned the respect of his colleagues," Dr. Gomez said. "He has helped us conduct our business efficiently and has represented us well. He has listened to our thoughts and articulated our ideas. We thank him for serving as our voice."

Shott, who received the Distinguished Staff Award, was recognized for her "strong Christian character," and her willingness to support the college beyond her traditional job duties. Dr. MacMillan, who presented the award to Shott, said she is also an "excellent communicator," who is active in her community and her church.

"She is a hard worker and dedicated to Bluefield College," the president said. "She is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done."

During the awards ceremony, the college also presented its annual service awards. Twenty-five-year service awards went to Rita Blevins, administrative assistant for academic affairs; Sandra Elswick, assistant professor of math; and Clayton Wagner, a member of BC's maintenance staff.

Dr. Scott Bryan, a professor of exercise and sport science, received a 20-year service award, while 15-year honors went to Dr. Flowers; Tim Havens, director of student support services; Ann Massey, director of library services; and Walter Shroyer, associate professor of art.

Alumni Director Teresa Stanley earned a 10-year service award, and 11 BC employees took home five-year service honors: Lynne Bartlett, library circulation supervisor; Martha Birkelbach, accounts payable assistant; Ruth Blankenship, associate vice president for institutional advancement; Cheryl Fielitz, athletics director and head women's basketball coach; Nora Lockett, technical services librarian; Doug Minnix, instructor of exercise and sport science; Debbie Pritchett, eastern regional coordinator of adult undergraduate programs; Charles Reese, assistant professor of theatre arts; Rebecca McCoy-Reese, instructor of theatre arts; Kevin Rolen, campus safety; and Crystal White, administrative coordinator for the dean of student services.

The college also recognized Employees of the Month for the 2005-2006 academic term, including Blankenship; Lockett; Shirley Mutter, accounts receivable assistant; Cathy Payne, western regional coordinator of adult undergraduate programs; Carrie Camden, associate dean of students; Leslie Lambert, admissions counselor; and Janice Bishop, assistant registrar.

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Longtime Education Professor Bids Farewell to Bluefield College

Bluefield College said goodbye to nearly four decades of classroom wisdom, leadership and experience at the close of the 2005-2006 academic year when Professor Gerald Clay began his retirement after 36 years of service to the institution.

Known as the founder of BC's Division of Education, Dr. Clay came to BC in 1970 and shortly thereafter designed the curriculum for the school's Teacher Education Program, today one of the most popular majors on campus. During his 36-year tenure with the school, he served as a professor of education and foreign languages, chair of the Division of Education, director of institutional effectiveness, and chair of the committee on reaffirmation of accreditation. More importantly, according to Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, BC's vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Clay served as the foundation for many teacher education careers.

"Scores of teachers and administrators have built their careers on the solid foundation they received from Dr. Clay," Dr. Gomez said. "The entire region owes him thanks for the quality teachers he has placed in area schools. His wisdom and institutional memory have made him an invaluable resource at Bluefield College. He has blessed us with deep insight, and his legacy will never leave us."

One particular product of the Clay legacy, Dr. Donna Watson, a 1980 Bluefield College alumnus, turned assistant professor of education at BC, said the Teacher Education Program at the college, well known among local school personnel for its reputation for preparing students to become highly qualified and caring teachers, is what it is today because of Dr. Clay.

"I will always be deeply grateful for what Dr. Clay did for me and all the other teacher education students who passed through the program at Bluefield College," said Dr. Watson, who after a career in public school teaching joined Dr. Clay as a professor in the BC Division of Education. "He is one of the most knowledgeable people about teacher education in Virginia, and along with that vast store of knowledge and experience is an extremely caring person about all of his students. He delights in hearing from those who have graduated and to learn of their accomplishments; he remembers each one."

During his nearly four decades of influence at Bluefield College, Dr. Clay also received the school's Distinguished Faculty Award on three occasions and earned an Honorary Doctorate from the institution in 2003. Now that the longtime professor, who holds the second longest tenure in BC history, has taught his final class, graded his last paper, and molded his final future teacher, he says it's a little difficult to bid farewell.

"I'm going to miss the contact with the students in the classroom and with the teachers in the schools," Dr. Clay said about his departure from education. "I take a lot of pride in seeing the students graduate and then become successful teachers in the school systems. I'm going to miss being a part of that progression."

Dr. Clay's products, from Bluefield to Alaska and points in between, include secondary school teachers, guidance counselors, principals, school superintendents, college professors, members of state boards of education, and other teaching professionals. They all, and even their students, according to Dr. Watson, will benefit from the Clay legacy.

"His influence will be seen not only through the teachers and administrators who have graduated from our program, but also through the untold thousands of their students who have benefited indirectly by his wonderful teaching," Dr. Watson said. "Our students will miss his wry humor and sage advice. He always presented a Christ-like example of how a teacher should be -- hard working, dedicated, caring, and fair. We will miss his leadership and his expertise."

In addition to his loyal service to Bluefield College, Dr. Clay has been a longtime leader of the Association of Teacher Educators in Virginia (ATE-VA). After joining the ATE-VA in 1980, he served as president-elect from 1991-1993 and as president from 1993-1995. Under his leadership, ATE-VA received a unit achievement award and was recognized as the outstanding state unit in 1995 by the National Association of Teacher Educators (NATE).

He became the executive director of ATE-VA in 2000 and served two terms in that position before his retirement this year. His service to Teacher Educators also includes tenures as vice president of the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators (SRATE) from 1995 to 1996, president-elect of SRATE from 1996 to 1997, and president for two terms from 1997 to 1999.

The longtime BC professor holds master's degrees from Xavier University and the University of Kentucky and has completed doctoral work in education from Virginia Tech. And, while he admits he is going to miss being in the classroom at Bluefield College, he is looking forward to retirement.

"I'm looking forward to the rest, the reading, and the traveling," Dr. Clay said, "and to seeing the grandkids a little more."

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Bluefield College ESS Students Attend National Certification Workshop

While most college students studying exercise science or health fitness aren't prepared for official certification in the field until after graduate school, students at Bluefield College are getting ready for certification now, even before they enter grad school.

Thanks to a strong Exercise and Sport Science (ESS) program at BC and encouragement from ESS professors for students to complete preparatory assignments for certification, Bluefield College students are ahead of the game.

In fact, three BC exercise and sport science majors recently participated in a two-day American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) workshop in Chicago, Illinois, designed specifically to help prepare them for the ASCM's Health Fitness Instructor's (HFI) certification exam.

BC senior ESS majors Raymie Ellis of Plymouth, North Carolina, David Turpin of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Elerene Walters of Pensacola, Florida, took part in the intense training sessions, set aside typically for graduate students preparing for the HFI certification exam. While not yet even enrolled in graduate school, the BC students attended the workshop in order to prepare to take the certification exam early.

"As part of their capstone experience in ESS, these students have chosen to go the extra mile," said Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, BC's vice president for academic affairs. "Rather than simply take the 'mock' Health Fitness Instructor's Exam, these three students have decided to wade into deep academic waters and take the real thing."

According to Doug Minnix, BC assistant professor of exercise and sport science, the ACSM's Health Fitness Instructor's certification exam is administered yearly to "mostly graduate students who have completed at least one year of a master's program in exercise science." The exam, he said, "is rigorous, and the failure rate is extremely high." But, according to Ellis, the ASCM workshop offered a great deal of preparation for the challenge.

"This workshop reviewed four years of exercise and sport science course work in two days," Ellis said about the preparation he received in Chicago. "It was awesome!"

The workshop, the students hope, better prepared them to sit for the Health Fitness Instructor's certification exam, which, if they pass, will virtually guarantee them a graduate assistantship as they pursue a graduate degree in exercise and sport science.

"We are extremely proud of these students and look forward to their future success," said Dr. Scott Bryan, chair of the BC Division of Exercise and Sport Science. "Just to have undergrads travel to Chicago to prepare for a nationally recognized certification while at the same time taking classes is quite a feat."

Dr. Bryan added that Minnix is to be commended for his efforts in preparing the three students for the HFI exam, graduate school, and a future career in ESS.

"I am especially appreciative of Doug's labor of love with these three students," Dr. Bryan said, "as he has been the primary professor who has instructed, motivated and inspired this level of accomplishment."

In addition to their studies in ESS, Ellis and Turpin are both members of BC's men's varsity soccer team, which won the United States Collegiate Athletic Conference National Championship this past fall. In addition to her studies, Walters is a member of the BC women's varsity soccer team, a resident assistant (RA), and a member of the Student Union Board.

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April

Bluefield College Students Honored for Academic Excellence

Bluefield College recently recognized dozens of outstanding students for academic excellence during the school's annual year-end Academic Honors Convocation in Harman Chapel.

BC President Dan MacMillan welcomed faculty, staff, students and friends to the honorary event. Special guests on hand to witness the presentation of the academic awards were trustee Eva Easley and retired BC professors David Armbrister, Will Gordon, and Dr. Ethel Haughton. Dr. MacMillan also spoke about the significance of the day.

"There is only one accomplishment more important than obtaining a college degree at this time in your life," the president told students, "and that is obtaining it with honors. Today we take time to honor the students who have achieved academic excellence. It is no small feat to finish a college academic year. Even for those who do not make a Dean's List or receive an award, your accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. Today, we applaud all of our students for their efforts in the classroom this year."

Among the first awards presented during the Honors Convocation were the Beazley Scholar and Virginia Collegium Scholar awards, funded by the Virginia College Fund and recognizing students for academic achievement and student leadership. Rebecca Asbury of Bluefield, Virginia, was named the Beazley Scholar, while Abdalis Toro of Orlando, Florida, and Dustin Headen of Martinsville, Virginia, were named Virginia Collegium Scholars.

The First Lady Award, established in the early 1990s and presented by BC First Lady Sandy MacMillan went to Tabitha Price of Bluefield, Virginia, a full-time female graduate possessing the highest overall academic grade point average.

Jesse Flowers of Bluefield, Virginia, earned the Division of Business' Frank S. Easley Business Award, presented annually in honor of trustee emeritus Tyler Easley to the most outstanding senior business major. The Division of Business also recognized 12 students in its chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) who won 11 awards and "Outstanding State Chapter" in PBL competition this spring and eight members of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) who finished runner-up in SIFE Regional competition in April. Myra Bankert of Buchanan, Virginia, and Ashley Froy of Bluefield, Virginia, were elected to state officer positions with PBL and were officially sworn in during the BC Honors Convocation.

The Division of Christian Studies presented three awards for academic excellence. Jennifer Workman of Princeton, West Virginia, won the Biblical Greek Studies Award for outstanding achievement in the study of Biblical Greek. Cassidy Lenhart of Morgantown, West Virginia, earned the Judaica Studies Hebrew Award as the outstanding Hebrew studies student, and Thomas Miller of Mayville, New York, received the Christian Studies Award as the outstanding major in that division.

For the first time in school history, outstanding students in BC's Adult Degree-Completion Program were recognized with Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Adult Student of the Year Awards during Honors Convocation. Teresa "Terri" Stuart of Pulaski, Virginia, who attends BC classes in Wytheville, Virginia, won the Student of the Year award for the organizational management and leadership (OML) program. Anne Hickman of Tazewell, Virginia, who attends classes for the adult program on the BC campus in Bluefield, won the behavioral sciences (BHS) Student of the Year honor. And, Phillip Hunnel of Crozier, Virginia, who attends BC classes in Powhatan, Virginia, won the Student of the Year award for criminal justice (CRJ).

The Division of Education honored four BC students. Jenene Saunders of Bluefield, West Virginia, earned the Virginia Iota State Delta Kappa Gamma Society's Outstanding Woman Scholar Education Award as the outstanding female candidate for teacher licensure. Kreg Welch of Bluefield, Virginia, won the division's Outstanding Teacher Education Student Award and the Meritorious New Teacher Candidate distinction, while Barry Smith of Richlands, Virginia, received the division's Virginia Commonwealth Scholar honor.

Elerene Walters of Pensacola, Florida, won the Division of Exercise and Sport Science's ESS Award as the outstanding exercise and sport science major. She, a member of the BC women's soccer team, also received the B.E. "Mullie" Lenoir Athletic Scholar Award as the graduating senior athlete with the highest grade point average.

The Music Department Academic Achievement Award from the Division of Fine Arts went to Adam McAllister of Bluefield, Virginia. Michael Lavoie of Fredericksburg, Virginia, won the Division of Science's Biology Award, presented in memory of the late Marvin G. Williams who taught biology at BC from 1927 to 1972. Ben Thurman of Moneta, Virginia, won that division's Chemistry Award, presented by the Chemical Rubber Company to the outstanding general chemistry student.

The Division of Language, Literature and Communications honored six BC students. CharLy Markwart of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, and Sharde Sherman of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, both received the division's Academic Achievement in Communications Award as the communications students with the highest grade point average. Jaimie Hobbs of Covington, Virginia, won the Communications Award for outstanding academic and professional performance in the communications major. Jed Lockett of Bluefield, Virginia, earned the Rampage Award for outstanding contribution to the school's newspaper, while JoAnne Smith of Wytheville, Virginia, and Crystal White of Bluefield, Virginia, won the Outstanding Graduating Senior English Award.

Four other BC students were recognized with awards from the Division of Social Science. Rebecca Asbury of Bluefield, Virginia, won the division's Ronald W. Hedrick Behavioral Science Award as the outstanding senior behavioral science major. Amber Gidden of Lecanto, Florida, received the Criminal Justice Award as the outstanding student in the Department of Criminal Justice. Tabitha Price of Bluefield, Virginia, earned the David M. Armbrister History Award for outstanding classroom performance and scholarly writing in history, while Jennifer Workman of Princeton, West Virginia, took home the John W. Tresch History Award as the outstanding senior history major.

BC students also took the time during the traditional Honors Convocation to recognize a member of the school's faculty with a Student Choice Educator of the Year award. Dr. Cindy Bascom, an associate professor of communications, received the honor.

In addition, 32 BC students were recognized for their inclusion in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Fifteen others were acknowledged for their induction into the school's Alpha Chi National Honor Society. Seven students were introduced as members of the Christian studies honor society Theta Alpha Kappa. Two were recognized as members of Pi Lambda Theta Education Honor Society, and two others identified as members of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.

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Christian Pre-Law Conference Benefits Bluefield College Professor and Student

"Preparing Christian students to succeed as Christian lawyers" sounds like a mission statement for Bluefield College's Department of Criminal Justice. But, in fact, it was the title of the 2006 Christian Pre-Law Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia, attended recently by Bluefield College Professor Kim Farmer and BC pre-law student Lisa Robinson.

Representing Bluefield College at the Christian Pre-Law Conference for the third time in four years, Dr. Farmer, an associate professor of criminal justice, chaperoned Robinson to the four-day event, designed to foster "legal training rooted in Biblical foundations of the law."

Hosted by Regent Law School and the Ave Maria School of Law, the 2006 Christian Pre-Law Conference included daily devotions and presentations and workshops on "Discovering Your Calling as a Law Student," "Religion in the Public Square," "Money, Debt and Law School," and "Nuts and Bolts: Admissions and Financial Aid."

The conference, crafted, according to organizers, "to guide and inspire a new generation of lawyers who will impact the world for Jesus Christ," also featured speakers and presenters from Regent University, Ave Maria, Evangel University, the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Christian Legal Society, and the Institute for Christian Legal Studies.

"I benefited in many ways," said Robinson of Luray, Virginia, about attending the conference. "The sessions were informative and gave me a great inside view of what law school will be like. I was given information about admissions, financial aid, and how to write an effective personal statement -- all things that will help me when I apply for law school this fall."

Robinson said she also encountered third-year law students who helped her gain a better understanding of the difference between law school and undergraduate studies. She said that she most enjoyed interacting with other pre-law students, including some from California, Illinois and Florida, particularly during the conference's Christian activities.

"It was a great experience getting to know what they wanted to do and how they are preparing," Robinson said about her interactions with other pre-law students. "It was amazing getting to worship God every morning in devotions with them. We had never met before, yet we were united through God and pre-law, and it was an awesome experience."

In addition, Robinson said that by participating in the conference she learned how much Bluefield College, particularly Dr. Farmer, had prepared her for law school.

"I enjoyed spending time with Dr. Farmer. It was great to see how well she has prepared me for pre-law," Robinson said. "I really enjoyed getting to spend time with her and see what a great job she's doing at Bluefield College and the influence she's had on me. She's more than a professor to me; she's a close friend."

Dr. Farmer agreed that Robinson benefited greatly by participating in the conference, which "boosted her level of confidence in preparation for the study of law," she said. Dr. Farmer added that she, too, benefited from the symposium, which allows her annually to keep abreast of current developments and trends in the law school application and admission process. Many of the conference workshops and seminars, she said, address changes in the application process.

Discussions with fellow pre-law advisors during the conference, she added, equip her with new ideas to incorporate into her advising experiences with BC students. The keynote speaker for the 2006 Christian Pre-Law Conference was renowned attorney and author Randy Singer, chief counsel for the North American Mission Board. He, Dr. Farmer said, was "inspirational."

"I felt infused with all sorts of innovative ways to teach law from a Christian perspective following his address," Dr. Farmer said.

Dr. Farmer has accompanied Bluefield College students to the conference in 2003, 2004 and 2006. She has served on faculty at Bluefield College since 1989.

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Bluefield College Students Celebrate 28th Annual Mud Pig Day

"This is one of the most exciting days of the year when the entire campus comes out to play."

Those were the sentiments expressed by Bluefield College student Thomas Miller and hundreds of other BC students who took part in the school's 28th Annual Mud Pig Day celebration, Thursday, May 4.

As is customary, classes were cancelled and studying came to a screeching halt on the BC campus as students enjoyed the traditional year-end event, a scholastic breather for nearly three decades at the school.

Since 1979, students at Bluefield College have been celebrating the Mud Pig Day tradition -- a day where classes, lectures and research take a back seat to water games, novelty contests, picnics, music, fellowship and a dive in a murky mud pit. Some say the tradition just prior to the start of final exams began with a simple water balloon fight that developed into a full-scale, campus-wide water battle. Others recall how the early years of Mud Pig Day included the actual chasing of a small pig. Despite the differing accounts of the beginnings of Mud Pig Day, there is no doubt that the event has developed into a formal day of fun.

"You take a lot of memories with you from this day," continued Miller, a BC senior from Mayville, New York, celebrating his fourth Mud Pig Day. "You get all wet and muddy and just grab your friends and give them a big hug."

This year, like always, the students were thankful for the opportunity to celebrate the culmination of another academic year with the traditional water slide and mud pit, two of the more popular activities each year for Mud Pig Day. All day long students raced down a long plastic water slide, doused with water from the Bluefield, Virginia Volunteer Fire Department and cooking oil from the BC cafeteria. In between slide trips, the students cooled off from the hot day of fun by taking the customary dive in the mud pit, filled with cold water and murky mud.

"This is the first time I've ever gone in the mud pit," said Maggie Wickstrum Lavoie, a senior from Ferrum, Virginia. "My favorite part of all this is just watching everyone. I enjoy watching them all have so much fun."

The 2006 version of Mud Pig Day featured a "Clash of the Classes" theme. Students from each respective class donned uniform Mud Pig Day t-shirts and competed against one another in unique contests throughout the day. The festivities also featured inflatable novelty games in the BC Quad, including a giant obstacles course, air volleyball, air basketball, and jousting.

"This is a great time for everyone," said Ashley Froy of Bluefield, Virginia, a member of BC's Student Union Board that organizes the daylong activities. "We get to relax and have fun and relieve all our stress from classes and studying for final exams."

The festivities also included lunch outside on the BC lawn in the Quad with the traditional All-American picnic items, along with, of course, barbecued pork (pig). The food, the fun, the fellowship and the break from classes, BC students say, is a very appropriate way to celebrate the culmination of another academic year -- and for some, the culmination of even more.

"Today kind of makes me realize that I'm going to miss Bluefield College more than I thought I would," said BC senior Mike Lavoie of Fredericksburg, Virginia, who will graduate May 13. "It's exciting, but it's kind of sad, because this is my last year and I've had a lot of fun here."

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Bluefield College Recognizes Outstanding Student Service and Leadership

Dozens of Bluefield College students were recently honored for service, spirit, leadership and other student life characteristics during the school's annual Student Service Awards Reception.

Associate Dean of Students Carrie Camden welcomed the BC family to the traditional year-end event, "a wonderful opportunity," she said, "for the college to celebrate some of the accomplishments and the service of the students."

Among the most notable awards presented during the program were the Christian Service Award, the student Heart of Bluefield College Award, and the Dr. Paul W. Beasley Faculty/Staff Service Award.

The distinguished student Christian Service Award went to Josh Sizemore of Galax, Virginia, for his "demonstration of Christian character as a student," his "outstanding Christian service on campus and in the community" and his commitment to Christian missions.

Ashley Froy of Bluefield, Virginia, received the Heart of Bluefield College Award for being the student who "best exemplifies in spirit and in action the heart of Bluefield College."

The 2006 Paul W. Beasley Service Award, established in honor of former BC vice president for academic affairs Dr. Paul Beasley to recognize service "above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of the students" went to staff member Emily Mann, assistant director of financial aid. The student portion of the award went to Kris Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia, for his "significant involvement in campus activities and events."

In other presentations, BC men's basketball player Ben Smalls of Charleston, South Carolina, received the school's Douthat Medal for being "the student-athlete who best exemplifies the Bluefield College character and mission."

The year's Outstanding Commuter Student Award went to Kristen Clarke of Bluefield, Virginia, for her "outstanding leadership, involvement and service on campus, particularly among the commuter student population."

Five students were recognized for their service as resident assistants during the year, providing "leadership, discipleship," and "mentorship" to on-campus students. Sharde Sherman of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, was named Female Resident Assistant (RA) of the Year, while Ethan Brown of Gloucester, Virginia, won Male RA of the Year. Student choice "Favorite RA" awards for BC's three residence halls went to RAs Shay Skipper of Wake Forest, North Carolina (Alumni Hall), Dustin Headen of Martinsville, Virginia (Cruise Hall), and Elerene Walters of Pensacola, Florida (Rish Hall).

Sixteen BC students were recognized for their leadership as members of the Student Government Association (SGA), including SGA President Jaimie Hobbs of Covington, Virginia, Vice President Princess Patterson of Roanoke, Virginia, Secretary Kristen Clarke of Bluefield, Virginia, and Treasurer Dustin Headen of Martinsville, Virginia; senior senators Jesse Flowers of Bluefield, Virginia, Kim Jeter of Highland Springs, Virginia, and Josh Sizemore of Galax, Virginia; junior senators Julie Bell of Roanoke, Virginia, Chaka Meney of Lignum, Virginia, and Sara Hubble of Mechanicsville, Virginia; sophomore senators Lee Tanya Adams of Linden, New Jersey, Derrick Wagoner of Charles Town, West Virginia, and Michael Yates of Oak Hill, West Virginia; and freshman senators Andrew Shumate of Bluefield, West Virginia, Cody Bentley of Castlewood, Virginia, and Christina Flowers of Bluefield, Virginia.

Flowers won the SGA's Outstanding Senator award, while Hobbs earned the Outstanding Officer honor.

Fourteen students were acknowledged for their service to the student body and the community at-large as members of Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM), including BCM President Matt Brooks of Jefferson City, Tennessee; Vice President Derick Bostic of Lewisburg, West Virginia; Secretary Brandi Debusk of Glade Springs, Virginia; Lesley Gray of Fieldale, Virginia; Derrick Wagoner of Charles Town, West Virginia; David Neal of Bland, Virginia; Jessica Skiles of Bassett, Virginia; Kim Jeter of Highland Springs, Virginia; Sharde Sherman of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania; Jeremy Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia; Amy Abshire of Covington, Virginia; Brian Ferguson of Roanoke, Virginia; Marua McKinney of Charlottesville, Virginia; and Kristen Crotty of Princeton, West Virginia.

Eight other students were recognized for their service and leadership through Greek Council. The Greek Council members included Ginny Pearman of Stokesdale, North Carolina; Jennifer Bailey of Powhatan, Virginia; Elerene Walters of Pensacola, Florida; Lesley Gray of Fieldale, Virginia; Laura Whited of Yorktown, Virginia; Marquita Griggs of Louisa, Virginia; Nicole Thompson of Charlottesville, Virginia; and Nicole Duckett of Catharpin, Virginia.

In addition, nine BC students, members of the Student Union Board, were acknowledged for their efforts to provide on-campus student programming for the academic year: Maggie Wickstrum Lavoie of Ferrum, Virginia; Mike Lavoie of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Ashley Bell of Tazewell, Virginia; Jeremy Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia; Kris Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia; Ashley Froy of Bluefield, Virginia; Sara Hubble of Mechanicsville, Virginia; Kristen Clarke of Bluefield, Virginia; and Christy Vaughan of Richmond, Virginia.

BC's Alpha Delta sorority was recognized for the second year in a row as the student organization to complete the most community service hours in 2005-2006.

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Bluefield College Students Outpace Virginia Tech, UVA for State PBL Crown

Students from the Bluefield College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), a national business student organization, competed in the PBL State Leadership Conference in Richmond, Virginia, March 31 and April 1, and against the likes of Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, the BC students won 11 awards and the overall "Outstanding State Chapter" honor.

Competing in state PBL competition for just the second year, the Bluefield College students outpaced 14 other PBL chapters from across the Commonwealth, including the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, New River Community College, Southside Virginia Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College, Mountain Empire Community College, Virginia Union University, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia at Wise, Emory and Henry College, Longwood University, Lord Fairfax Community College, and Radford University.

The Bluefield College students picked up eight first-place awards, two second-place honors, and one third-place prize to claim the overall first place or "Outstanding State Chapter" distinction, which also earns the BC PBL team the right to compete in the National PBL Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in June 2006.

The senior team of Bridgett Moxley of Baltimore, Maryland, Jesse Flowers of Bluefield, Virginia, and Chris McCall of Jacksonville, Florida, won first place in "Business Decision Making." Flowers also won first place for a solo presentation entitled "American Enterprise Project."

Josh Grubb of Wytheville, Virginia, and Nicole Duckett of Catharpin, Virginia, earned first place in "Business Ethics." Amanda Grose of Pocahontas, Virginia, won first place in "Human Resource Management," while Bryan Wohlford of Bluefield, Virginia, received first place in "Networking Concepts."

Myra Bankert of Buchanan, Virginia, earned first place in "Community Service Project," while the entire BC team won a first place honor for its presentation of the "Local Chapter Annual Business Report." The "Outstanding State Chapter" honor was the team's 8th first place prize.

Second place awards went to Grubb for his presentation "Management Concepts" and McCall for his project "Statistical Analysis." Sophomore Ashley Froy of Bluefield, Virginia, won third place for her "Multimedia Presentation."

In addition to the 11 awards and "Outstanding State Chapter" distinction, the Bluefield College students earned two state officer selections. Froy was elected PBL state president, while Bankert was named state treasurer.

Completing the team of BC students competing at the PBL State Leadership Conference in Richmond were senior Kris Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia, and junior Ryan Moore of Cedar Bluff, Virginia.

Bluefield College with its 11 total awards outpaced overall second place Virginia Tech with 10 awards, and overall third place University of Virginia with nine awards. As the "Outstanding State Chapter," the entire Bluefield College PBL team will now advance to national competition in Orlando, Florida, in June. Individual first and second place finishers also advance for solo national competition.

Last spring, competing for the first time ever in state PBL contests, Bluefield College finished runner-up or second overall with 13 total awards, compared to UVA's 14 honors.

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Bluefield College Business Students Finish Second in Regional Competition

Bluefield College's chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), an international student business organization, competed in SIFE's USA Regional Competition in Charlotte, North Carolina, in April and brought home the region's first runner-up award.

The Bluefield College students finished second overall among 32 other colleges and universities across the region, including East Tennessee State University, Ferrum College, James Madison University, Mountain State University, Regent University, Saint Paul's College, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Virginia Tech, and Winthrop University.

Members of the Bluefield College SIFE team competing in Charlotte included: Jesse Flowers of Bluefield, Virginia; Ashley Froy of Bluefield, Virginia; Amanda Carbaugh of Daniels, West Virginia; Bridgett Moxley of Ellicott City, Maryland; Kris Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia; Bruce Janney of Vinton, Virginia; Bryan Wohlford of Bluefield, Virginia; and Myra Bankert of Buchanan, Virginia.

SIFE is an international non-profit organization active on more than 1,800 college campuses in more than 40 countries. SIFE teams create economic opportunities in their communities by organizing outreach projects that teach market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial success skills, and business ethics. Their projects are judged at competition, like the Regional Competition, on creativity, innovation and effectiveness.

During the 2006 SIFE Regional Competition, individual teams were judged on their ability to "teach people of all ages the principles of free enterprise" and their efforts to "make a difference in their communities by developing projects to meet specific needs."

SIFE works in partnership with business and higher education to provide students the opportunity to make a difference and to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise.

In addition to this year's Regional runner-up award, last spring, competing for the first time ever in SIFE Regional competition, the Bluefield College students won "Rookie Chapter of the Year." That year, the BC students also brought home the Campbell Soup Business Ethics Award, a $2,000 cash prize.

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BC Students Take Advantage of Career Awareness Seminar

Bluefield College students made the most of having a host of behavioral science, psychology, and criminal justice professionals on campus recently for a BC-sponsored Career Awareness Seminar.

The daylong workshop, featuring more than a dozen social workers, probation officers, psychologists and other social service employers, provided students with the opportunity to explore career alternatives through discussions and presentations offered by professionals in these fields. In fact, the seminar, organized by Dr. Marsha Mead, a BC instructor of psychology, helped the students better define their career aspirations.

"The seminar helped me immensely in choosing my career path," said BC student Rebecca Asbury. "Even though I am a senior, I was unsure up to this point just what God wanted me to do with my degree. For that matter, I wasn't sure what kinds of jobs I could obtain with my degree. The presenters explained to us what we could expect to do with each level of education, from a bachelor's degree to a doctorate. Short of calling each of these individuals on the phone and hoping they had time to talk to me, there is no other way I could have received this valuable information."

Among the organizations represented during the Career Awareness Seminar: Presbyterian Children's Home, Tazewell County Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Services, Family Preservation Services, Pressley Ridge, Quest Christian Counseling, and Cumberland Mountain Community Services.

As part of the seminar, students took part in a panel discussion on the differences between psychology, social work and counseling. They also discussed and learned more about the requirements for licensure in each field.

"I have decided that either juvenile or adult probation might be the direction I want to take," Asbury added. "Because of this seminar, I know that this kind of job will offer me the opportunity to further my education using state funds. I am very appreciative to Dr. Mead and Professor Kelly Walls who, in organizing this event, have provided invaluable information to those of us in the Behavioral Science, Psychology, and Criminal Justice Departments."

The students said they learned much about the pros and cons of each area of social work. They said they also were able to explore careers areas of significant interest.

"The seminar really helped me understand how many different things I can do with my degree in behavioral science," said student Ashley Surber. "I found the probation officers and the social workers the most interesting, because I have always been interested in that type of work."

The seminar, in fact, resulted in more than just the accumulation of information for Surber. She landed a summer job/internship as a result of participating in the program, which may lead to full-time employment.

"I learned a lot from all of the speakers," said Surber, a native of Pulaski, Virginia. "When Rick Mitchell (a social services presenter) was speaking, he said something about an office in Pulaski. Since I am from Pulaski, I thought this would be a great opportunity for the summer. I now have a meeting with the organization for a summer internship. I am really excited to learn more about the job, which might also give me an opportunity to get a full-time job right after I graduate from BC."

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BC's Clay Honored by Association of Teacher Educators

Bluefield College Professor Gerald Clay, a longtime leader of the Association of Teacher Educators in Virginia (ATE-VA), was honored for his service to ATE-VA during the organization's recent Spring Conference at Sweetbriar College.

Dr. Clay, who is retiring from Bluefield College at the close of the current academic year after 36 years of service, is also retiring as the executive director of ATE-VA.

The BC professor of education and foreign languages has been a part of ATE-VA since 1980, serving as president-elect from 1991-1993 and as president from 1993-1995. Under his leadership, ATE-VA received a unit achievement award and was recognized as the outstanding state unit in 1995 by the National Association of Teacher Educators (NATE).

He became the executive director of ATE-VA in 2000 and served two terms in that position before his retirement this year. During this time, membership in ATE-VA increased from 90 to 145.

His service to Teacher Educators also includes tenures as vice president of the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators (SRATE) from 1995 to 1996, president-elect of SRATE from 1996 to 1997, and president for two terms from 1997 to 1999. In addition, he served on the planning committee for two national ATE summer workshops in Williamsburg, VA in 1995 and 2002.

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Bluefield College Students Spend Spring Break on Mission Abroad

Their t-shirts read "International World Changers," and based on their testimonies the labels were accurate.

Thirteen Bluefield College students gathered on campus recently to share their experiences from a ten-day mission trip to Brazil. Sporting their team "world changer" t-shirts, the BC students spoke about sharing their faith and making a difference halfway around the world.

"I used to think that mission trips were very hard, something I probably wouldn't be capable of doing," said first-time BC missionary Kristen Clarke of Bluefield, Virginia. "I learned that is not necessarily true, and that God can use you to help and make a difference many different ways."

Continuing the longstanding Bluefield College tradition of missions abroad, the 13 BC students joined two other college student groups in supporting the efforts of the Southern Baptist Convention's mission outreach program called International World Changers. Sacrificing their college Spring Break to participate in the mission work in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the students took part in relationship evangelism and supporting the development and growth of a new church planted by Brazilian Baptists.

"Our primary purpose was to help this new church in Sao Paulo grow," said BC Campus Minister David Taylor who accompanied the students on the trip. "We tried to strengthen their ministry and outreach to Portuguise-speaking Brazilians."

Specifically, the BC missionaries used relationship evangelism to invite locals to a church pancake dinner and party where they might learn more about Christianity and be encouraged to become members of the new church. In the end, Taylor said, they left the church with a prospect list of more than 150 potential members.

"The church was overwhelmed by the number of people who attended the pancake party," Taylor said about the 150 locals the BC team persuaded to attend the church gala. "They didn't expect it to go as well as it did. We're thankful we were able to give them that many potential members who, without us, may have never darkened the door of the church."

Using their musical gifts, the BC students also participated in the church's worship services, and while they may not have been able to understand the Portuguise language, they did understand the communication that comes from being a part of God's kingdom.

"I was blown away by how you could feel the strength of God in our worship," said Jeremy Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia. "I couldn't understand what they were saying, but the worship was still incredible. It was wonderful to see a different format of worship."

Witnessing within a population of 23 million in Sao Paulo and Rio, of which less than 10 percent are evangelical Christians, the BC students also taught English as a second language to young Brazilian students. While direct evangelism was prohibited in the schools, the BC missionaries said they were still able to plant seeds.

"We just wanted to build relationships with the students and not force our religion down their throat," said Josh Sizemore of Galax, Virginia. "By using this approach we may not see the harvest now, but we will later. It's much more effective in the long run."

After completing the exhaustive ten-day mission, the Bluefield College students returned to campus with a sense of accomplishment that they had indeed created "change." They also came back with a desire to continue their work and to have "the same heart for missions here at home."

"In reality, we were the ones who were changed," said Lesley Gray of Fieldale, Virginia. "Through our experiences on this mission, we were challenged to change ourselves and to come back and change others here at home."

Other students who participated in the Spring Break mission to Brazil include Ashley Bell of Tazewell, Virginia; Derek Bostic of Lewisburg, Virginia; Matt Brooks of Jefferson City, Tennessee; Amanda Carbaugh of Daniels, West Virginia; Brandi DeBusk of Glade Springs, Virginia; Kris Hardy of Chesapeake, Virginia; Sara Hubble of Mechanicsville, Virginia; Maura Jones of Charlottesville, Virginia; and Brad Lavoie of Stafford, Virginia. Jessica McDaniel, BC's director of student activities, joined Taylor as an advisor for the student mission team.

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Minister's Legacy to Live on through Bluefield College Scholarship

For nearly three decades, Rev. Nelson T. Barker and his wife, Ethel Raines Barker, served faithfully in Christian ministries in southwest Virginia, and despite their passing their legacy of service and influence will live on, thanks to the establishment of the Nelson T. and Ethel R. Barker Memorial Scholarship at Bluefield College.

Rev. Barker, a graduate of King College in Bristol, Tennessee, and Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, began his Christian service in southwest Virginia around 1940 as pastor of First Baptist Church in Richlands, Virginia. During his more than 20 years of service at Richlands, Rev. Barker was instrumental in the construction of the church's new sanctuary on Fairfax Avenue, and later in the building of a new Youth Center in town.

His nearly three decades of ministry also included service on the Virginia Baptist Mission Board and a role in the development of the New Lebanon Baptist Association.

Mrs. Barker, who graduated from Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia, before attending Southern Seminary and the Carver School of Missions, served for years as a leader of the Women's Missionary Union (WMU), an auxiliary of the Southern Baptist Convention that seeks to equip people of all ages with missions education. She was also active in the missions organizations and activities of First Baptist Church in Richlands.

"The Barkers had a positive influence on the lives of many people," said BC's Amy Havens, director of donor care, "including the founder of this scholarship who wishes to honor the memory of the Barkers through the establishment of this memorial fund."

Like all memorial scholarships established at Bluefield College, the Barker Memorial Scholarship will not only preserve the legacy of these longtime Christian servants, but also provide valuable financial aid to current Bluefield College students.

"It is the desire of the scholarship's originator that many students from this region be helped through this scholarship," Havens said, "and that the memory of this special couple live on through the lives of students receiving the scholarship awards."

Recipients of the Nelson T. and Ethel R. Barker Memorial Scholarship are to be from southwest Virginia with preference given to residents of Tazewell and Buchanan Counties and to students with a demonstrated financial need. In the event that no students from southwest Virginia qualify, students from anywhere in Virginia may apply.

Recipients should also have sensed a call to full-time Christian service as a pastor, youth minister, music minister, or servant in Christian education. In addition, applicants must have and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average to qualify.

The Barker Memorial Scholarship is designed to become an endowed scholarship fund at Bluefield College where seed gifts up to a pre-determined level are invested, and earnings from that principal are later available as scholarship awards. While funds for the scholarship may not be available immediately for students, Havens said, once the fund becomes endowed it will benefit students in perpetuity.

"Endowed scholarships are permanent," Havens said. "In other words, they are designed to last forever. Once the Barker Scholarship Fund reaches a specific balance from original donations, it will become endowed, meaning the seed gifts are never disbursed, but instead invested, and earnings from that principal are what become available as scholarship dollars for Bluefield College students for years and years to come."

While original donations already have been made by the founder to the Barker Scholarship, additional contributions from area churches and other Virginia Baptist friends are encouraged to assure endowment for the fund, Havens said. For more information about the availability of Barker Scholarship dollars, how to contribute to the memory of the Barkers, or how to establish your own scholarship in honor or in memory of someone you know, please call 276-326-4211 or visit the Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu/giving.

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Exchange Students from United Kingdom Visit Bluefield College

While Bluefield College students are well known for their frequent study trips abroad, a group of students from the United Kingdom returned the favor recently with a visit to the BC campus.

As part of a student exchange program between Bluefield College and Richard Huish College in Somerset, United Kingdom, nine UK students spent the week, March 27-31, attending BC classes, meeting BC students and professors, touring the community and the region, and learning more about American education and culture.

"The friendliness of the people has been quite pleasant," said Thomas Chapman, a second-year student at Richard Huish College (RHC) about his first trip to the States and to Bluefield. "It's good to come to America. I'm sure I'll take back very fond memories of my experience here."

The student exchange between RHC and BC began in the fall of 2005 when eight Bluefield College students traveled to Somerset for a weeklong international educational enrichment experience. There, the BC students attended classes at RHC, the equivalent of a junior college or preparatory school in America. With trips to places like Stonehenge and Stratford-Upon-Avon, the BC students also took in the history and the culture of their motherland.

"The whole trip was a learning experience," said BC student Lindsay Whitworth who traveled to the UK last fall. "We were able to experience a new culture, and we met so many new people. I wouldn't trade my experience and new knowledge for anything."

On the Bluefield College campus, the Richard Huish students sat in on classes in literature and English and attended BC's weekly convocation. In addition to their studies on campus, the UK scholars took in a play at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, toured the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, and visited a variety of sites in Washington, D.C.

"We've been made to feel very much at home here," said Marcus Barrett, a professor of English and faculty advisor for the visiting scholars from RHC. "Some of the students remarked that they were going to be sad to return home, because it would be the end of their fame here."

Barrett described the exchange to Virginia as a "patchwork" American experience, because the visiting group was able to get a taste of the rural culture in Bluefield, the American university setting at Virginia Tech, and "big city" tourism in Washington, D.C.

"We usually find that the students are interested in the small things - the cultural differences, the food," Barrett said. "They are particularly fascinated by the unlimited number of choices in the culture. It's basically all the world in one room here."

Approximately 1,600 students attend Richard Huish College in Somerset, which is west of London. The students, ages 16-19, study a variety of subjects in business, the humanities, and the sciences in preparation for studies at the university level.

"We want our students to get an entirely different outlook on American literature than they might get in the classroom at Richard Huish," Barrett added. "To have the opportunity to study it in the flesh and to build relationships with Bluefield College is something that will last forever."

While most of the experience on the BC campus involved the UK students learning from BC professors, in one instance RHC's Barrett took the lead in a classroom to teach BC students about British expressions in a class entitled "Pragmatics, Politeness and English Idiom."

"I've enjoyed experiencing America, its culture and its way of life," said Kim Pearce, a first-year RHC student studying English literature, law, sociology and drama. "Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. I'd like to come back here and study for a year in the future."

Students in other fields of study at RHC have participated in similar study trips abroad, including to New York, California, Iceland, Germany, and Spain.

"The experience of traveling abroad will add so much to their education," said Jill Burton, a second faculty advisor for the exchange students who also serves as head of the RHC English Department. "Most of our students have never been to the States before."

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March

Katharine B. Tierney Scholarship Awareness Program Established at Bluefield College

Soon, renowned, distinguished and entertaining speakers will be visiting the campus of Bluefield College for the BC family and the community at-large.

But, thanks to the Katharine B. Tierney Foundation, the keynote speakers will bring more than just inspiring and informational dialogue to the community. They will bring vital scholarship assistance to students in need at Bluefield College.

In an effort to raise awareness of the need for a strong scholarship program at Bluefield College, supported by the community, the Katharine B. Tierney Foundation recently announced a gift in the amount of $45,000 to the school in order to create the Tierney Scholarship Awareness Dinner Program.

"The Tierney Scholarship Awareness Dinner Program is a wonderful way to inspire and support young people, but more importantly to inspire a community to support the Bluefield College Scholarship Fund," said BC's Ruth Blankenship, associate vice president for institutional advancement. "We don't just want the financial support from the community; we want area residents to understand the importance of providing this support."

Modeled after a similar scholarship dinner program at Union University, which has generated an estimated $3 million in scholarship gifts since 1997, the Tierney Scholarship Awareness Dinner will bring a distinguished keynote speaker to the BC campus each year, paid for from the endowed funds generated from the original Tierney grant. The hope, according to Blankenship, is that the community will turn out in full force and pay premium prices to hear the notable speakers, but more importantly, she added, to support the BC Fund for Scholarships.

"Everyone who becomes involved will benefit," Blankenship said, "but most importantly, the students of Bluefield College will be the recipients of generous gifts from community friends -- gifts that will ensure their quality Bluefield College education can and will remain affordable and accessible."

The proceeds from the Tierney Scholarship Awareness Dinner will go directly to the BC Fund for Scholarships, which Blankenship said is oftentimes the only resource available to determine whether a student can or cannot attend college.

"Scholarships are an important factor in determining where students choose to pursue their college education," Blankenship said. "They also make a profound difference on whether a student can actually continue his or her education beyond high school. While the Bluefield College scholarship program continues to grow, there is still a tremendous need for additional funding."

More than 90 percent of students at Bluefield College receive some form of financial aid, Blankenship noted, whether from private scholarship funds, federal Pell grants, state assistance or student loans. In fact, students at BC, she said, receive in excess of $8 million each year in financial aid, but unfortunately, she added, that figure is still not enough.

"Every year we have a growing number of students who are not offered enough aid to be able to stay in school or even to begin attending college," Blankenship said. "When reviewing surveys completed by students that were accepted but did not attend BC, we find that 90 percent cited the number one reason as financial need."

The annual cost to provide a BC education, Blankenship said, is $18,947 per student. Tuition at the school, she added, is just $10,618. Instead of considerably raising tuition to bridge the gap between tuition and the actual cost of providing the education, the college depends on gifts to the BC Fund for Scholarships, and the Tierney Scholarship Awareness Program, Blankenship added, will significantly support this cause.

"We are very fortunate to have alumni, friends and area businesses support the BC Fund for Scholarships, but we would like to see the local community more involved," Blankenship said. "Each year, hundreds of area residents benefit from the use of our facilities or from the joy of attending one of our performing arts events or concerts. We hope they will return the favor and get involved in the Tierney Scholarship Awareness Program."

Blankenship said that two-thirds of the BC student body are first generation college students, and more than half are from low-to-moderate income families. Thanks to the generosity of the Katharine B. Tierney Foundation, she added, an increasing number of students likes this in the community will be finding a Bluefield College education more accessible.

"These students have such great potential to not only change their life by receiving a college degree, but the whole course of their family's history and future," Blankenship said. "We're grateful for the generosity of the Tierney Foundation and for how they are joining us in making such an incredible impact on students, their families, and this community."

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Bluefield College Students Promote Local Economic Development

If economic development is on the horizon in Mercer County, West Virginia, then students at Bluefield College just might have something to do with it.

Recently, at the request of the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau, a group of business and economics students at Bluefield College completed a research project designed to determine the feasibility of the development of a campground located in Mercer County.

"We consider it a privilege to work with community leaders in providing economic development possibilities to this area," said Dr. Don Caudill, a BC professor of business who advised the students on the research project. "We're grateful the Visitors Bureau allowed us to complete this study."

The BC students, members of the school's Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) and Students-in-Free-Enterprise (SIFE) organizations, devoted "hundreds of hours of work" to the study, Dr. Caudill noted. Specifically, the students collected data to help the MCCVB "determine the feasibility of developing a campground located off Interstate 77 near exit one." Their findings, Dr. Caudill hopes, will help the Visitors Bureau and the City of Bluefield "better define the consumer base for campgrounds and assess the relative importance of a number of amenities that might be offered."

"It was a teaching opportunity for me and an excellent real-world learning experience for the students," Dr. Caudill said.

According to the BC study, campgrounds are flourishing, and nearly $12 billion per year is being spent in the recreational vehicle (RV) industry. The BC students also found that the trend within the campground industry is to provide more recreation and entertainment within or near the facilities.

"The City of Bluefield is very interested in economic development possibilities in Mercer County, especially as you leave the tunnel at exit one in Bluefield," said Beverly Wellman, executive director of the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And, the city is extremely interested in the results of the [Bluefield College] study to enhance the possibility of contacting prospective developers of RV parks."

One primary tool used by the Bluefield College students to gather their data was a brief questionnaire or survey issued to visitors at the Tourist Information Center in Princeton, West Virginia. The survey included, among other features, questions related to demographics, campground interest, the importance of the availability of facilities, and the importance of the availability of activities or recreation.

The BC survey findings indicated that hot showers, electricity and water were the most desirable facilities requested for a campground. Swimming and sightseeing were among the most desirable activities campers preferred to be available.

"There are an unbelievable number of unique tourist attractions in our area that could be promoted at the campground," Dr. Caudill said. "This could be the strongest point for building a campground in our area. However, it might not be cost effective to build, staff and maintain an on-site pool."

The BC survey also determined that most campers are concerned about the size of the campsite or RV spot, most prefer a rural setting for camping, and most do not make reservations in advance.

In other findings, the BC students determined that "wide roads and pull-through sites," "good lighting" and "easy access to bathrooms" were important to campers. And, similar to their survey results, in other findings the BC students discovered that the location of a campground is the key indicator for its success. Those located near opportunities for sightseeing and other recreation typically enjoy a definite advantage.

"Our findings clearly indicate a desire for a campground in the area," Dr. Caudill concluded. "We recommend the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau seek a grant to hire an industry consultant to conduct a complete feasibility study."

The BC students also presented the project as competition in the Students-in-Free-Enterprise (SIFE) Regional Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina. The result of their first-ever regional competition presentation with SIFE: a Regional Rookie of the Year honor and an invitation to participate in SIFE's National Championship in Kansas City, Missouri.

"We hope our project will ultimately result in the development of a campground in the area," Dr. Caudill added. "We appreciate the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) allowing us the opportunity to participate in this idea."

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Sam's Club Supports Bluefield College Teacher Education

Students in the Bluefield College Division of Education will soon have greater access to classroom supplies and resources, thanks to a grant from Sam's Club of Bluefield, Virginia.

During a recent ceremony inside the local Sam's facility, store officials presented a $1,000 check to BC representatives in support of their efforts to train teachers for the community. The grant, according to Sam's Club spokesperson Travis Pace, is just one of many ways the company chooses to re-invest in its community.

"This is our way of giving back," Pace said about the company's generosity. "It's part of our continuing efforts to support the community that supports us."

According to Bluefield College leaders from the Division of Education, the college plans to use the $1,000 from Sam's Club to expand and update its selection of teacher training equipment. For example, the school will purchase supplies for its Teacher Education courses and resources for its student-teaching curriculum.

"Our students are the ones who will benefit from this generous grant from Sam's Club," said Dr. Donna Watson, assistant professor of education, "because now they will have the tools they need to better prepare themselves to be local educators in this community."

The Bluefield, Virginia, Sam's Club has been awarding the community grants, made possible through the Sam's Club Foundation, since it opened in 1995. Seven community organizations, including Bluefield College, received $1,000 awards during the recent ceremony, just one of four quarterly grant presentation ceremonies scheduled this year by the local Sam's Club.

"We really have a lot of great stuff happening in our community, and Bluefield College is one example of that," Pace said. "The Bluefield College Division of Education prepares students to be teachers in our community, and that's the basic foundation for our future."

The BC Division of Education has been preparing students for careers as teachers for nearly 30 years. The Teacher Education Program is endorsed by the Virginia Department of Education and the Commonwealth's State Board of Education. It is also approved by the state's Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure (ABTEL) and is in the final stages of receiving national accreditation through the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) in addition to its national accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

The most popular component of the program is its student-teaching module, which places BC student-teachers into local secondary schools year-round to gain hands-on experience in the field while providing valuable assistance to current schoolteachers. Eighty-one Bluefield College students are currently enrolled in the school's Division of Education, studying to become licensed teachers. Professors and administrative personnel in the program include Dr. Watson, Dr. Gerald Clay, and Jennifer Thorn.

Wal-Mart, the parent company of Sam's Club, is one of the largest corporate supporters of teachers and education. Last year alone, the company gave more than $45 million in support of educational initiatives. Since 1995, Wal-Mart's Teacher of the Year program has honored more than 25,000 teachers nationwide and donated more than $18.5 million to local schools.

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Bluefield College Grad Leaves Her Mark on Campus

Bluefield College alumna Amanda Parks is continuing to leave her mark on her alma mater. BC faculty, staff and students gathered on campus, Friday, March 17, for the unveiling of Parks' latest contribution to the school: a picturesque wall-sized mural inside a BC classroom.

Dozens of members of the Bluefield College family participated in the unveiling ceremony in honor and appreciation of Parks, a 2005 BC graduate who majored in art with a concentration in painting. She put her academic training from BC to good use by creating an eight-foot by twelve-foot scenic mural in a classroom in Rish Hall, created to reflect the natural beauty of the BC campus and its surrounding community and dedicated to the professors at Bluefield College who inspired her.

"It used to be pretty dreary down here [in the lower level of Rish Hall], but now our environment is reflecting the spirit of improvement we are seeing in our division," said Dr. Rob Merritt, chair of the Division of Language, Literature and Communication about how Parks' painting complements other physical and academic improvements going on in the division. "This mural is created in the spirit of celebration of our place here, the college and its location in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains."

Commissioned and funded by an anonymous donor, the mural celebrates the natural beauty of our surroundings and serves as a reminder of the college's endeavor to support the study and appreciation of the Appalachian region. It reflects the mountains, the foliage, the streams, and other parts of the nature of the Greater Bluefield community, and, according to Parks, the images are not from any photo or image, but instead from her imagination.

"This is the first painting I've ever done without any reference to other pictures," said Parks, who came to BC from Mechanicsville, Virginia. "It's all from my head, the images I see every day in this community. Every day there is a different beauty to behold."

While the Four Seasons' surroundings are what Parks said inspired the painting, a BC professor who inspired her is to whom the mural is dedicated. In fact, beside the painting, mounted on the wall is a plaque that reads, "dedicated to Walter Shroyer, [associate professor of art], for his innovative work as a teacher and artist at Bluefield College to encourage the appreciation of nature."

"I was surprised," said Shroyer after the unveiling of the mural and plaque. "I feel really honored. It was sweet of Amanda to do that. She was a hard worker [as a student]. It was a pleasure to watch her mature and grow, both as a person and as an artist."

Parks, who is now a financial aid processor at BC, said she spent a total of 72 hours creating the mural, including drawing the initial sketches, building the three eight-foot by three-foot frames, and actually painting the mural with acrylic on canvas. The work, she said, was the least she could do to express her appreciation to Shroyer and her alma mater.

"He [Shroyer] has given me a lot of opportunities and has pushed me to be a good artist," Parks said about her mentor. "I've learned so much and have improved so much from his instruction."

The mural in Rish Hall is not Parks' first attempt to put her Bluefield College art education to good use in beautifying the Bluefield community with mural paintings. This past summer, she completed a mural for the Salvation Army in Bluefield, West Virginia, to "inspire kids to follow their dreams," she said. That mural is not only inspiring kids in the Salvation Army's after-school program, but also educating them about West Virginia's beautiful landscapes and renowned people, like John Nash, Don Knotts, Homer Hickam and Pearl S. Buck.

"I would definitely like to continue mural painting," Parks said. "I'm grateful for the opportunities Bluefield College has given me already with the college, the community and outside of the community to do that. I would like to continue my work as an artist, right here in Bluefield."

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Bluefield College Welcomes New Financial Aid Director

Bluefield College recently welcomed a new financial aid director to its administrative staff: Sheila Nelson-Hensley, a higher education officer with nearly two decades of experience in student financial aid.

Nelson-Hensley came to Bluefield College from Stuart, Virginia, where she worked for a year as the program director for the Patrick County Education Foundation. There, she was responsible for promoting the county's GED program and working with community colleges to create work-force programs.

Before her work in Patrick County, Nelson-Hensley served seven years as the director of financial aid at Ferrum (VA) College, where she was responsible for all aspects of the financial aid program, managing federal, state and institutional aid in excess of $11 million and counseling students and their families in the development of budgets and package awards.

She also served five years as the assistant director of financial aid at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, and two years as an assistant director of financial aid at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

Nelson-Hensley's experience also includes tenures in financial aid with West Virginia Northern Community College in Wheeling; West Liberty (WV) State College; Peirce Junior College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Indiana University of Pennsylvania; and Wheeling (WV) Jesuit University.

She holds a master's degree in student personnel services from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor's degree in Spanish with a minor in psychology from Wheeling (WV) Jesuit University.

"I'm pleased that Sheila has joined the Bluefield College family as our new financial aid director," said Tim Havens, BC's director of enrollment management. "She comes to us with seven years experience as the director of financial aid at Ferrrum College and with an additional 12 years experience in financial aid at various other colleges and universities."

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From the Battlefields in Iraq, Bluefield College Grad Stays Connected to Alma Mater

Bluefield College alumnus Phillip Brashear, a United States Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter pilot, is busy these days serving his country on the battlefields of Iraq. But, the onetime BC student is not too busy to stay connected to his alma mater and to share his experiences on this tour of duty.

Brashear, the son of legendary Navy diver Carl Brashear who was portrayed in the movie "Men of Honor, graduated from Bluefield College in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in organizational management and development. He earned his diploma through the school's adult degree-completion program, while working full time as a customer liaison specialist for the Defense Supply Center in Richmond, Virginia, and flying Blackhawk helicopters for the Army National Guard.

Last spring, Brashear, one of the college's most distinguished young alums, flew one of those Blackhawk helicopters to the BC campus to speak for the school's Media Appreciation Day. Now, the 16-year veteran of the National Guard is flying his Blackhawk over the treacherous skies of the Middle East, assisting the U.S. Marines in patrolling the Syrian border to prevent insurgents from entering Iraq.

"Iraq is a very violent and unstable place," Brashear said. "We are definitely in a high-threat environment, which causes a great deal of stress on everybody. The young faces I see will definitely grow up fast after a tour here."

While relatively young himself, Brashear has flown Blackhawks for the Guard for 13 years. He also has served nine years with the U.S. Navy and a previous tour of duty in Bosnia in 2001 and 2002.

"This tour is very different," Brashear said about his current military activity in Iraq, "because of the environment we are faced with. Bosnia was like being stationed in the Northeast (United States) as far as weather is concerned. We experienced snow and fairly mild temperatures. And, the threat condition was not as intense as it is here. That was more of a peace-keeping mission in a low-threat environment."

With summer approaching, Brashear said that he and his fellow soldiers are already preparing for the extreme temperatures they will face in Iraq. That, he said, will be a greater challenge for him than his actual flying maneuvers.

"I am trying to acclimate myself by working out and staying as fit as possible," he said. "The stronger I keep my body, the easier it will be to cope with the extreme temps. The flying will work out fine. Flying helicopters is second nature for me now. I love to do it, and it comes naturally after all these years."

In speaking of the physical environment of the Middle East, Brashear said the region actually has more water than he had expected, but that there is still "a lot of desert and an awful lot of sand and dirt." When the wind blows, he said, the sand gets lifted and forms clouds of dust that eventually "cover everything with a silky layer." Despite the elements and the tension, Brashear said he is actually enjoying a bit of a spiritual experience in this war-ridden region.

"I am overwhelmed to actually be in the place where the Lord actually walked as a man on the face of this planet," Brashear said. "How blessed is that! This is a beautiful country with deserts, mountains, rivers, and lakes."

Brashear did admit that he really misses his wife and son and that he's looking forward to reuniting with his family in Richmond in about a year. In the meantime, he said, he knows he must fulfill his commitments to his country.

"This is a commitment that I must honor," Brashear said. "You are what you say and your word is your bond. Never make commitments you don't plan to keep. As Christians, we must do what is right, despite how much it might hurt. In the long run, you will be better off."

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February

Shott Foundation Supports Bluefield College Renovations

Bluefield College's Lansdell Hall will soon see major improvements. Thanks to a recent grant from the Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation, the college will invest $100,000 into renovations to this administrative and instructional hub on campus.

The first building erected on the Bluefield College campus, Lansdell Hall in 1922 housed administrative offices, classrooms, science labs and the school's first library. While 10 additional buildings with classrooms and offices have since been added to encompass the BC campus, Lansdell Hall today remains the focal point of the institution.

As the primary point of arrival and orientation for visitors and with the majority of the college's administrative offices and still significant classroom space within the structure, Lansdell, according to BC officials, is a building that must remain functional some 80 years after its construction.

"This is very exciting news," said Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Gomez after hearing the report about the Shott grant. "This grant will make possible many improvements to the classrooms and public areas of Lansdell Hall."

Specifically, the $100,000 from the Shott Foundation will allow the college to create two additional SMART classrooms in Lansdell Hall, giving the school a total of 11 high-tech SMART classrooms on campus, including four in Lansdell, named after the school's first president. The funds will also enable BC to replace furniture in at least two classrooms and install air conditioning systems in all of the classrooms.

"Classroom requirements for successful teaching and learning spaces have changed since the construction of Lansdell Hall," said Ruth Blankenship, associate vice president for institutional advancement, "and the college realizes the necessity of providing attractive and comfortable spaces for its students and faculty. The college also recognizes that how its facilities look and function is important to prospective students and their families. With this grant from the Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation, we will be able to complete the renovation of these classrooms and improve the functionality and appearance of this building."

With the $100,000 Shott grant, the college will also repair and paint walls, install new window treatments, add drop ceilings and flush lighting to rooms, and fit carpet and place whiteboards in classrooms. In addition, new floor coverings and furnishings will be installed in the second floor corridor, along with the development of new waiting areas on the east and west landings of this level. A new electronic interactive kiosk will also be placed at the main entrance of the building to provide instant, accurate visitor information concerning facilities, site locations, events, etc.

"These upgrades will not only improve the aesthetics of the most heavily-visited administration area on campus," Blankenship noted, "but will also considerably advance how information is provided to visitors. These renovations will increase our ability to serve students more effectively and to be perceived more favorably by people visiting the BC campus."

The upcoming renovation project is the first major overhaul to Lansdell Hall since the mid- to late-1990s when through the school's 75th Anniversary Campaign the college invested $1.2 million in renovations to Lansdell, primarily in exterior improvements and technology. That phase of improvements included the installation of a new roof, new lighting, advanced instructional technology, and telephone infrastructure upgrades.

The Shott Foundation of Bluefield is one of Bluefield College's most generous donors, having contributed in excess of $2 million to BC initiatives over the decades, including renovations to Lansdell Hall, Harman Chapel, the Dome Gymnasium, and Shott Hall, among other projects.

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Scholarship Preserves Memory of Former Bluefield College Student, Provides Aid for Current BC Students

Students at Bluefield College will soon have access to more financial aid, and the memory of late BC student Jason Elswick will live on, thanks to the establishment of the Jason David Elswick Memorial Scholarship Fund.

While the death of Elswick at the age of 21 in an automobile accident on October 14, 2005 was an untimely tragedy, family, friends and Bluefield College are making the best of the misfortune through the establishment of the Jason David Elswick Memorial Scholarship. Through the scholarship, Elswick's memory will survive on the Bluefield College campus, and future students, like this North Tazewell native, will enjoy the benefits of additional financial assistance to attend BC.

"It is our desire that many students with the same goals and wonderful characteristics as Jason be helped through this scholarship," said Elswick's parents, David and Pamela Elswick. "It is also our wish that Jason's memory live on through the lives of the students receiving the scholarship awards."

A 2002 graduate of Tazewell High School and a transfer student from Southwest Virginia Community College, Elswick was a student in the Bluefield College Teacher Education Program. He was also a member of the Student-Virginia Education Association (SVEA) and planned on becoming a math teacher after graduating from BC.

"I'm so glad I had the privilege of getting to know Jason as a student in two of my courses," said Dr. Donna Watson, an assistant professor in the Division of Education. "He was always smiling and helpful to the other students and enthusiastically taught practice math lessons in our class. He had the qualities of a caring teacher, and we still miss him."

Recipients of the Elswick Scholarship are to be graduates of Tazewell High School in Tazewell, Virginia, who are seeking teacher licensure in mathematics in the Bluefield College Teacher Education Program. Applicants must also have and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average. In the event that no students from Tazewell High School qualify, students from other high schools located in Tazewell County may be eligible. If there are no students seeking to obtain a degree in math education, then students pursuing any type of teacher licensure may apply.

Applicants must also exemplify strong Christian character as expressed in an essay to be submitted during the application process to Bluefield College. A letter of recommendation, written by a teacher, is also requested. Candidates with demonstrated financial need will be given preferential treatment in the awarding process.

The Elswick Scholarship is designed to become an endowed scholarship fund at Bluefield College where seed gifts up to a pre-determined level are invested, and earnings from that principal are available as scholarship awards. The original seed gifts or principal amount remain indefinitely, unlike non-endowed scholarships where all the funds are given away over time.

"Endowed scholarships are permanent," said Amy Havens, a BC administrative assistant who worked with the Elswicks on creating the scholarship fund. "In other words, they are designed to last forever. This scholarship will benefit Bluefield College students in perpetuity and will preserve the memory of Jason Elswick for years and years to come."

Family and friends, Havens added, are already contributing to the Elswick Memorial Scholarship and to the memory of this onetime Bluefield College student to assure that the fund becomes endowed and will exist in perpetuity. In fact, she said, in just three short months since Elswick's death, family and friends have contributed nearly $7,000 of the $10,000 required to endow the scholarship.

For more information about the availability of Elswick Scholarship dollars, how to contribute to the memory of Jason Elswick, or how to establish your own scholarship in honor or in memory of someone you know, please call 276-326-4211 or visit the Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu/elswick.

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January

Bluefield College Students Named to Who's Who

Twenty-two students from Bluefield College have been selected to be included in the 2005-2006 edition of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Bluefield College faculty and editors of the annual Who's Who directory selected the 22 BC students based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success. The Bluefield students join a select group of students from more than 2,300 universities and colleges across the United States and in several foreign countries.

Students named this year from Bluefield College include:

Rebecca Asbury, Bluefield, VA
Teri Burton, Narrows, VA
Kristen Clarke, Bluefield, VA
Amy Creasy, North Tazewell, VA
Jessica Duncan, Bramwell, WV
Jessica Eller, Bramwell, WV
Julie Engelke, Wytheville, VA
Jesse Flowers, Bluefield, VA
Jennifer Gossler, Lynchburg, VA
Kristopher Hardy, Chesapeake, VA
Dustin Headen, Martinsville, VA
Jaimie Hobbs, Covington, VA
Amanda Hollingsworth, Pulaski, VA
Kimberly Jeter, Highland Springs, VA
Melody Kitts, Tazewell, VA
Michael Lavoie, Bluefield, VA
Cassidy Lenhart, Morgantown, WV
Joseph Lockett, Bluefield, WV
Tabitha Price, Bluefield, VA
Nicholas Quesenberry, North Tazewell, VA
Laura Redding, Sebring, FL
Lisa Robinson, Luray, VA
Stephen Short, Pound, VA
Tracy Sisk, Oakwood, VA
Joshua Sizemore, Galax, VA
Erin Spaulding, Stollings, WV
Amanda Spurlin, Galax, VA
Michelle Stubbs, Fayetteville, NC
Abdalis Toro, Orlando, FL
Crystal White, Bluefield, VA
Bryan Wohlford, Bluefield, VA
Jennifer Workman, Princeton, WV

National outstanding campus leaders have been recognized in the annual Who's Who directory since 1934. Last year, 21 Bluefield College students were included in the publication.

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Bluefield College Alumnus Gives Back to Alma Mater through Scholarships

Bluefield College alumnus Roger Roller is giving back to his alma mater, and as a result seven current BC students will be receiving valuable financial aid during the 2005-2006 academic year.

Roller, a 1981 Bluefield College grad turned pastor and evangelist, is providing scholarships for students who have expressed an interest in ministry. The grants, he said, are his way of helping students the way Bluefield College helped him.

Roller, a native of Pearisburg, Virginia, earned an associate's degree from BC in 1975 at a time when he admits he wasn't very serious about his studies. But, despite his academic history, he said, Bluefield College gave him the opportunity to succeed.

"I had poor grades [from high school]," Roller said, "and no other college but Bluefield would take a chance on me. This [scholarship partnership with BC] is my way of giving back after what this school has done for me."

Roller said professors like David Armbrister, Tom Farrar and Dr. Bob Randall "went way beyond the call of duty" to make sure he succeeded in the classroom. At BC, Roller also met his wife-to-be, Ester Wright, who likewise earned an associate's degree at the college, and while a student on campus Roller developed the determination to acquire even higher education. After working in his family's business, Roller Floral, for several years, he came back to Bluefield College to earn a bachelor's degree in 1981 and then went on to earn a master's degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

"I couldn't have done it without Bluefield College," Roller said, "and this is not the only school in the state where we could give the scholarships. But, Ester and I are both products of Bluefield College, and we hold a very special place in our heart for this institution. The school provided so much for us personally, and this is our way of giving back."

After seminary, Roller spent 10 years serving as a Virginia Baptist pastor. Today, he is an evangelist. For 13 years he has managed the Roger Roller Evangelistic Association, conducting at least 25 revivals each year, primarily in Virginia Baptist churches, but across the Southeast, and serving on evangelist missions to Panama, Brazil and Honduras, among other sites abroad. In fact, it is through his evangelistic association that Roller is giving back to his alma mater.

"Our evangelistic ministry has been helped in so many ways over the years," Roller said, "and because of the generosity of others, this is our way of supporting young men and women who God has placed a call on their lives to serve Him in a full-time vocational ministry."

Since 2003, the Roger Roller Evangelistic Association has supported BC students through the presentation of annual scholarships. This year, seven students will benefit from the grants: Matt Brooks of Jefferson City, Tennessee; Brandi DeBusk of Glade Springs, Virginia; Leah Gilbert of Springfield, Virginia; Sara Hubble of Mechanicsville, Virginia; Kim Jeter of Highland Springs, Virginia; Brad Lavoie of Stafford, Virginia; and Josh Trautmann of Bluefield, West Virginia.

"Roger Roller and his wife, Ester, are wonderful examples of alumni who are helping to make a difference at Bluefield College," said Dr. Tim Crawford, chair of the Division of Christian Studies. "By helping to prepare future ministers, they are helping us fulfill the goals of the Christian Studies Division and Bluefield College."

BC student applicants for the scholarships must have expressed an interest or a calling to Christian ministry. Priority is given to students who are members of Virginia Baptist churches. The grants range between $400 and $1,000 annually and are available for multiple years for students who continue to qualify.

"We're happy to support these students who have expressed an interest in committing their lives to full-time Christian service," Roller said. "Our whole ministry is based on people helping us, so it would be extremely selfish for us not to help others, to give support to kids who need financial assistance, particularly students interested in Christian ministry."

For information on how to apply for the Roller Scholarship or details on how to establish your own scholarship fund at Bluefield College, please call 276-326-4209 or visit the BC web site at www.bluefield.edu/giving. For more information about the Roger Roller Evangelistic Association, please call 434-525-1565.

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Bluefield College Adds Wealth of Experience to Fundraising Staff

Bluefield College has added a wealth of experience to its Development staff. Harold Hazen, a chief fundraiser officer with 24 years of experience in Christian higher education, joined the BC family on January 17 as the new Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

Hazen comes to Bluefield College directly from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where since 2001 he had served as Vice President for University Advancement. At Taylor, Hazen set a school record for fundraising with the completion of an $80 million campaign, including $30 million in just two years. There, he also served as chairman of the William Taylor Foundation.

Before Taylor, Hazen served five years at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, as the Vice president for Institutional Advancement. At Geneva, Hazen grew the college's gift income to record levels and expanded the school's donor base. He also created the Geneva Foundation with a mission to assist ministries and charities worldwide through managed donor-advised funds.

"We are extremely fortunate to be able add Harold's wealth of experience to our fundraising staff," said BC President Dan MacMillan, "He has demonstrated for years his ability to grow development programs, to increase giving, and to build relationships with donors."

Before Geneva, Hazen worked 10 years at Wheaton College in Illinois and four years at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As the Director of Development at Wheaton, he was responsible for current, planned, and major gifts. He also directed a $36 million campaign.

As Vice President of Advancement at Regent, founded by Pat Robertson, Hazen coordinated marketing, public relations, alumni relations and development, and grew the school's gift income and donor numbers to record levels. He also orchestrated a $300 million campaign. Despite this success, Hazen said that he knew from his first conversation with President MacMillan that Bluefield College was the next place he wanted to be.

"Bluefield College is an outstanding institution, and I count it an honor to be invited to join BC's Advancement team," Hazen said. "President MacMillan is a true Christ-centered leader who has a wonderful vision for the school to become the premier Christian college in Virginia."

Hazen's experience also includes two years as Vice President for Development at Huntington College in Indiana and two years as Executive Director of the Fort Wayne (IN) Association of Christian Schools.

"It is my sincere desire that God would use my years of experience in Christian higher education to advance Bluefield College," Hazen said, "through excellence in marketing and donor centric relationships to serve both God and our constituencies at the highest levels of Christian servant leadership. I look forward to bringing change, hope, and growth to our core competencies."

Hazen's studies at the University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, and University of New Haven led him to a career in nuclear reactor government research, engineering and marketing before his fundraising days in higher education. He, who also completed graduate studies in administration and motivational management, has written for publication, led seminars at national conferences, and served many organizations and ministries as a development consultant. Now, he said, he's looking forward to his new assignment at Bluefield.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to team with the gifted and dedicated Advancement Staff at Bluefield College," he said. "Most of all I hope to be a 'man God can trust (2 Chronicles 16:9)' with this critically important assignment."

An ordained minister who has also served as an interim pastor and provided pulpit supply, Hazen is a past Board member of Chapel Ministries and the prestigious Marion Military Academy. He has two sons who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and his daughter is a Wheaton College alumna. After losing his first wife to cancer, he remarried, and his new wife, Linda, has four children who are gifted musicians performing professionally and with church Praise Teams.

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Whitmore Memorial Scholarship Benefits Bluefield College Students

Students at Bluefield College will soon have access to even more financial aid, and the memory of onetime BC student George Whitmore will live on at the college, thanks to the establishment of the George Michael Whitmore Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Born in Princeton, West Virginia, Whitmore attended Mercer County Public Schools before moving to Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated from the Horizons School in 1987. He made his way back to Four Seasons Country to enroll at Bluefield College in the fall of 1989 before his untimely tragic death in 1992.

Because of their love for their son, their desire to preserve his memory on the Bluefield College campus, and their wish to help other students earn a college education, Whitmore's parents, John and Patricia Whitmore, have established the George Michael Whitmore Memorial Scholarship.

"The establishment of this scholarship would have been George's wishes," the Whitmores said about the idea behind creating the memorial fund. "He loved Bluefield College and would be pleased that the fund will help students get the college education they desire."

While a student at Bluefield College, Whitmore was an avid reader who demonstrated a significant interest in literature, particularly poetry. Current BC students with the same goals and interests, the Whitmores said, are whom they hope to support through the Whitmore Scholarship Fund.

"As a result of the scholarship assistance," the Whitmores said, "we hope students like George can earn a college education and go on to become productive citizens."

Candidates for the George Michael Whitmore Memorial Scholarship are to be students who have "some established goals" as determined by their application for admission to Bluefield College. Candidates should also be students "of good moral character," but with "average grades."

"Because students who maintain high grade point averages are the ones who are often offered the academic scholarships," the Whitmores said, "we wanted to help students who are just as serious and dedicated, but may not earn high grades."

The lone recipient of the Whitmore Memorial Scholarship will receive up to $10,000 for an academic year. In the event a recipient's annual financial need is less than $10,000, a lesser amount will be awarded to that individual and the balance given to a second promising candidate. Recipients may reapply for the scholarship in subsequent years of study at Bluefield College.

"Thanks to the love and generosity of John and Patricia Whitmore, the memory of a special young man will live on through the lives of students receiving this scholarship," said Amy Havens, a BC administrative assistant who worked with the Whitmores on creating the fund, "and current Bluefield College students will receive the valuable financial assistance they need to attend college."

The Whitmore Scholarship will be funded each year by John and Patricia Whitmore with matching gifts being made by Mr. Whitmore's employer, Merck. Additional contributions from friends, family and former classmates are also encouraged.

For more information about the availability of Whitmore Scholarship dollars, how to contribute to the memory of George Whitmore, or how to establish your own scholarship in honor or in memory of someone you know, please call 276-326-4211 or visit the Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu/whitmore.

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Hoback Legacy of Giving Continues at Bluefield College

Kathryn Shupe Hoback of Bluefield, West Virginia, was a generous supporter of Bluefield College, and despite her death in February of 2002 she will continue to give to BC students through the Kathryn Hoback Scholarship Fund for Education, established shortly after her death by her husband, Harold, a 1936 BC grad.

And, while the Hoback Scholarship Fund was originally designed by Mr. Hoback to become endowed and available to students at the time of his death through a planned estate gift, the BC alumnus just recently made a significant contribution to the Fund and a pledge to make more contributions soon to endow the scholarship and to benefit students earlier than previously planned.

Mrs. Hoback attended Bluefield College in the mid-1950s after marrying and starting a family with her husband, Harold. While a student at the college, Mrs. Hoback was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was also awarded a Trustee Medal as an outstanding female student. She was named valedictorian of her class before earning an associate's degree in 1956.

After BC, Mrs. Hoback furthered her education at Concord College and later earned a master's degree in education from Radford University before beginning a 22-year career in teaching.

Along with her commitment to teaching, Mrs. Hoback expressed her love to Bluefield College by supporting the school in a variety of capacities. At the time of her death, she was a member of BC's Board of Trustees after serving first on the Presidential Board of Advisors. She also served a term as president of the Alumni Association and worked with the Town and Gown Ladies for Bluefield College. She won the college's Outstanding Alumna Award in 1979.

"Kathryn was always doing something to help Bluefield College," Mr. Hoback said. "All someone had to do was ask. She created a legacy of giving, and this scholarship will continue that legacy."

Mr. Hoback's recent gift, he said, is the first of others he hopes to make to assure the scholarship will be endowed earlier and available sooner for BC students. In addition, contributing to the scholarship fund now before his death, he added, will result in matching contributions from the Norfolk Southern Foundation, a charitable organization created by Norfolk Southern, whom Mr. Hoback worked for before his retirement.

"I wanted to do this because of Kathryn's love for Bluefield College," Mr. Hoback said. "This place was her life, and she would have wanted me to do something like this."

Once the Hoback Scholarship Fund reaches a specific balance determined by the college's fundraising officials and created from original donations to the fund, it will become endowed, meaning the seed gifts are never disbursed, but instead invested. Earnings from that principal are what become available as scholarship dollars. The original seed gifts remain indefinitely.

"Endowed scholarships are permanent," said Ruth Blankenship, BC's associate vice president for institutional advancement. "In other words, they are designed to last forever. This scholarship will benefit Bluefield College students in perpetuity and will preserve the memory of Kathryn Hoback for years and years to come."

In addition to her support of Bluefield College, Mrs. Hoback was a member of Bland Street United Methodist Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, where she was a Sunday School teacher, a Bible study leader, and a certified lay speaker. She was also an active member of a variety of civic and service organizations.

"Kathryn was a blessing to all who knew her," Blankenship added. "She was a teacher at heart, a devoted wife, and extremely active in her community. She had a deep love for her first alma mater, Bluefield College, and was very active in supporting the school and its students."

The Kathryn Hoback Scholarship Fund for Education is designed to provide assistance to students in BC's Teacher Education Program who, like Mrs. Hoback, aspire to become licensed teachers.

For more information about the availability of Hoback Scholarship dollars, how to contribute to the memory of Kathryn Hoback, or how to establish your own scholarship in honor or in memory of someone you know, please call 276-326-4556 or visit the Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu/hoback.

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Whitehead Foundation Gives Scholarship Funds to Bluefield College

Bluefield College students will continue to benefit from the generosity of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation. Recently, the foundation approved a $71,500 grant to be used for general scholarships for female students who attend BC during the 2006-2007 academic year.

The recent gift marks the 13th consecutive year the Whitehead Foundation has granted Bluefield College scholarship funds. The 2006 award is also the largest grant to date given to BC by the foundation. According to BC officials, dozens of young ladies from Bluefield College have benefited through the years from the Whitehead Foundation's generosity.

"The continued support from the Whitehead Foundation makes a major impact on the financial aid that the college can provide its students," said Ruth Blankenship, BC's associate vice president for institutional advancement. "More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, and it is because of significant gifts like this one from the Whitehead Foundation that make that possible."

The Whitehead Foundation was chartered in 1946 as a memorial to Lettie Pate Whitehead, a native of Bedford County, Virginia, who married Joseph Brown Whitehead, founder of the Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The Foundation was established for the aid and benefit of Christian girls of nine southeastern states -- including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia -- who demonstrated need.

The foundation devotes most of its resources to its scholarship fund where annual grants are made to accredited educational institutions like Bluefield College. The 2006 Bluefield College grant will be used exclusively for the purpose of "providing scholarship funds for the education of women." More than 200 institutions and thousands of students benefit annually from Whitehead scholarship awards.

"We are grateful for the Whitehead Foundation's dedication to higher education in the southeastern region, particularly its commitment to Christian education," Blankenship added. "We are especially grateful for the foundation's longstanding relationship with and support of Bluefield College."

For information about the availability of Whitehead Scholarship dollars or details on how to establish your own scholarship fund at Bluefield College, please call 276-326-4556 or visit the BC web site at www.bluefield.edu/giving.

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Bluefield College Students Lobby Local Legislators for TAG

Students Government leaders at Bluefield College recently hosted local legislative officials on campus to discuss the Commonwealth's Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) and to persuade the lawmakers to support increases in TAG to provide more financial aid to BC students.

College students who are residents of Virginia and who enroll in a Virginia private college or university, like Bluefield College, are entitled to a grant from the Commonwealth in the amount of $2,500 each year. Nearly 18,000 students statewide, including hundreds at BC, qualify for TAG to offset the average $17,000 they pay for tuition annually. However, state funding for the grant program has been reduced in recent years, and members of BC's Student Government Association (SGA) were hosting a luncheon for the local politicians in hopes of preventing future reductions.

"I grew up in foster care until I was 21, so for me to even have the opportunity to go to college I had to have a lot of financial aid," said Kim Jeter, a BC student from Highland Springs, Virginia. "Bluefield College was my college of choice. I didn't apply to go anywhere else. It's a dream come true for me to be here, and TAG played a very important part in that."

Among the legislative officials on hand were David Larimer, a legislative aide for Senator Phillip Puckett (D-38th District), and Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-Wythe), a member of Virginia's House of Delegates. Both listened as students and BC administrators spoke about the advantages of increasing the Tuition Assistance Grant for Virginia residents who attend a Virginia private college.

"Because my dad owns a business, I didn't qualify for a lot of federal or state financial aid," Kristen Clarke, a BC English major from Bluefield, Virginia, told the local policymakers. "But, the government didn't take into consideration the fact that my dad and mom have sent seven brothers and sisters to college. So for me, TAG is extremely important."

Bluefield College is a part of a consortium of 25 private colleges known as the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV), and according to the CICV, BC leaders shared during the luncheon, the Commonwealth spends an average of $7,054 to educate a student at one of the state's public colleges. But, the Commonwealth spends only $2,500 (through TAG) for Virginia residents to attend one of the state's private colleges.

"It actually saves the Commonwealth money when a Virginia resident attends a Virginia private college instead of a public college," said Tim Havens, BC's director of enrollment management who depends a great deal on TAG in recruiting students, "not to mention the fact that Virginia's private colleges have the capacity to enroll an additional 7,000 students with their current facilities."

Havens told the local lawmakers that 499 students at Bluefield College benefit from TAG and 18,000 students statewide. He added that 26 percent of students at Virginia's private colleges qualify for the federal Pell Grant, while just 22 percent of students at state colleges are eligible, dispelling the myth that only rich kids attend private colleges.

"Senator Puckett wholeheartedly supports TAG," Larimer told the BC students. "I commit to you that he will be pushing for budget revisions. I encourage you to keep sending your letters and e-mails and making your phone calls. It goes a long way in making a difference."

As part of a lobbying campaign with the CICV, Bluefield College students, faculty and staff submitted hundreds of correspondence to state legislators prior to the recent luncheon requesting an increase in TAG.

"We may be one of the smallest private colleges in the CICV, but we have a strong voice," Havens said about the letter-writing campaign. Our hope is because of our strong voice we will see an increase in TAG so that private college students receive $3,000 next year instead of $2,500."

Virginia's Tuition Assistance Grant is designed to help alleviate overcrowding at public colleges and universities and reduce the burden on the state's finances. Recent reductions in TAG, BC students said, have had a major impact as their families struggle to pay tuition.

"This was a real learning experience for me," said Crockett-Stark, who is serving her first term of office with the House of Delegates. "These students taught me a whole lot. They opened my eyes, and I will join Senator Puckett as their advocate for the Tuition Assistance Grant."

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Bluefield College Releases Fall 2005 President's and Dean's Lists

Bluefield College has released its President's and Dean's Lists for traditional students for the fall 2005 semester.

Thirty-three traditional BC students were named to the President's List for earning a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) during the fall semester, while 75 traditional students were named to the Dean's List for earning a GPA between 3.5 and 3.9.

Among the students named to the fall 2005 President's List: Rebecca Asbury, Bluefield, VA, Amy Creasy, North Tazewell, VA, Jessica Duncan, Bramwell, WV, Jesse Flowers, Bluefield, VA, Rebecca Goins, Bluefield, WV, Jennifer Gossler, Lynchburg, VA, Joshua Grubb, Max Meadows, VA, Michael Gullion, Pocahontas, VA, Dustin Headen, Martinsville, VA, Brittany Howard, Soldotna, AK, Brittnie Hubbard, Bluefield, VA, Miriam Johnson, Tazewell, VA, Virginia Kennedy, Bluefield, VA, Jonathan Kidd, Narrows, VA, Matthew Kidd, Bluefield, VA, Melody Kitts, Tazewell, VA, CharLynn Markwart, Bluefield, WV, Emily Oblinger, Bluefield, VA, Tabitha Price, Bluefield, VA, Keilah Ramey, Luray, VA, Lisa Robinson, Luray, VA, Rachel Russo, Ararat, VA, Juanita Saunders, Bluefield, WV, Sharde Sherman, Dillsburg, PA, Jessica Skiles, Bassett, VA, Benjamin Thurman, Moneta, VA, Abdalis Toro, Orlando, FL, Mark Weitzel, Matoaka, WV, Kreg Welch, Bluefield, VA, Lindsay Whitworth, Marion, VA, Trisha Wise, Gum Spring, VA, Leah Woodrum, Bluefield, WV, Jennifer Workman, Princeton, WV.

Among the traditional students named to Bluefield College's fall 2005 Dean's List: Chadrick Arnold, Wytheville, VA, Jennifer Bailey, Powhatan, VA, Benny Baliles, Stuart, VA, Cody Bentley, Castlewood, VA, Joshua Bishop, Bluefield, VA, Jared Bokish, Bluefield, VA, John Bostic, Lewisburg, WV, Jennifer Brewster, Bluefield, VA, Joshua Brintle, Tazewell, VA, Teri Burton, Narrows, VA, Dylan Camden, Bluefield, WV, Natasha Campbell, Bluefield, WV, Ashlea Canning, North Tazewell, VA, Sarah Carlock, Lebanon, VA, Jennifer Chappelear, Bassett, VA, Jessica Childress, North Tazewell, VA, Hannah Christian, Richlands, VA, Kristen Clarke, Bluefield, VA, Sarah Collins, Saltville, VA, Sarah Cordill, Princeton, WV, Donna Crouse, Tazewell, VA, Erica Davis, New Castle, VA, Meaghan DeHaven, Pembroke, VA, James Doss, Ivanhoe, VA, Kathryn Eggleston, Roanoke, VA, Jessica Eller, Bramwell, WV, Raymond Ellis Jr., Plymouth, NC, Matthew Elswick, Bluefield, VA, Brian Ferguson, Roanoke, VA, Christopher Flowers, Bluefield, VA, Kimberly Jo Forrest, Orange, VA, Amber Gidden, Lecanto, FL, Tabatha Hale, Elk Creek, VA, Nicole Hall, Bluefield, WV, Mallory Hart, King George, VA, Jaimie Hobbs, Covington, VA, Amanda Hollingsworth, Pulaski, VA, Amy Hubble, Mechanicsville, VA, Seth Jones, Hebron, MD, John Kane, Galax, VA, Shana Kitts, Tazewell, VA, Crystal Koppler, Princeton, WV, Maggie Lavoie, Ferrum, VA, Cassidy Lenhart, Morgantown, WV, Adam McAllister, Bluefield, VA, David Michaux, Bluefield, WV, Stacey Mickens, Fredericksburg, VA, Amy Montgomery, Blacksburg, VA, Ryan Moore, Cedar Bluff, VA, Stefanie Neel, North Tazewell, VA, Brittany Pachuta, Beckley, WV, Denise Pair, Emporia, VA, Princess Wincey Patterson, Salem, VA, Seth Plemmons, Goshen, VA, Jeremy Ramsey, Henry, VA, Jessica Rayle, Virginia Beach, VA, Emilio Rodriguez, Vineland, NJ, Dania Safi, Bluefield, VA, Charon Schlobohm, Tazewell, VA, Andrew Shumate, Bluefield, WV, Tracy Sisk, Oakwood, VA, Joshua Sizemore, Galax, VA., Zachary Smith, Pearisburg, VA, Erin Spaulding, Stollings, WV, Dustin Spencer, Henry, VA, Amanda Staples, Bluefield, VA, Hope Tegeler, Pounding Mill, VA, Joshua Trautmann, Bluefield, VA, David Turpin, Virginia Beach, VA, Derrick Wagoner, Charles Town, WV, Elerene Walters, Cantonment, FL, Hillary Watson, Luray, VA, Cortney Webb, Pearisburg, VA, Laura Whiteed, Yorktown, VA, Carrie Wohlford, Bluefield, VA.

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Bluefield College Students to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Do you know how to get to Carnegie Hall? Bluefield College music students do. In fact, 13 BC students in the music ensemble Variations have been invited to perform at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City, Sunday, January 15.

Joining the likes of classical icons Tchaikovsky, Horowitz and Toscanini, jazz giants like Benny Goodman and James Reese Europe, and contemporary favorites like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and the Beatles, BC's Variations will perform on the stage of the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall.

"This is a Carnegie Hall debut for Bluefield College," said Bryant Moxley, director of Variations and chair of the BC Department of Music. "This is the first time any music ensemble from Bluefield College has performed at Carnegie Hall."

Variations is an auditioned touring choir at Bluefield College that represents a cross-section of the student body. The group performs a wide variety of sacred music on campus and throughout Virginia and neighboring states. At Carnegie Hall, the group will be joined by the New England Symphonic Ensemble and singers from Tennessee, North Carolina and Minnesota as they present Randall Thompson's "Testament of Freedom" and beloved spirituals from Michael Tippett's "A Child of Our Time."

"For over 100 years Carnegie Hall has been the ultimate destination for serious musicians all over the world," Moxley said. "We consider it a great honor to add our names to those of Horowitz, Bernstein, Goodman, Sinatra and countless others who performed on this famous stage."

The 13 Bluefield College students who make up Variations and who will be performing in New York City include: Gina Adkins of Colonial Heights, Virginia; Jamar Bennett of Ridgeway, Virginia; Bethany Branch of Bluefield, Virginia; Tanna Cabaniss of Pulaski, Virginia; Jessica Childress of Grundy, Virginia; Brian Ferguson of Roanoke, Virginia; Leah Gilbert of Springfield, Virginia; Adam McAllister of Bluefield, Virginia; Amy Montgomery of Marion, Virginia; Emily Oblinger of Bluefield, Virginia; Sharde Sherman of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania; John Thompson of Richmond, Virginia; and Marcus Vaughan of Colonial Heights, Virginia.

Three BC alumni will also join Variations in the performance. They are Alyson Brown of Hayes, Virginia; Morgan Cassady of Martinsville, Virginia; and Bradley Stump of Roanoke, Virginia.

Dr. Timothy Sharp, a 1974 Bluefield College alumnus and chair of the Department of Music at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, will be the guest conductor for the performance. At Rhodes, in addition to his teaching and conducting, Dr. Sharp directs the Rhodes Singers and a MasterSingers Chorale and Orchestra. He has authored five books on conducting and is a columnist for the Choral Journal. He is also on the Research and Publications Committee for the American Choral Directors Association.

Joining Moxley, an assistant professor of music, as accompanists for the Carnegie Hall trip will be Dr. Elizabeth Gomez, BC's vice president for academic affairs, and Susan Allen, a BC instructor of music.

"For most of us, this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Moxley added. "We have been challenged to achieve a greater level of musicianship than we thought possible. The invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall has energized our students and faculty to 'practice, practice, practice.'"

While in route to New York, Variations will perform for alumni and friends at Friendship Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Wednesday, January 11 at 7 p.m. In addition to a busy rehearsal schedule while in New York, the students will explore the many cultural opportunities of the city and will also share in a cooperative ministry project with East 7th Baptist Church of New York.

The trip to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall comes on the heels of a Variations music mission adventure this past summer to Europe. In what turned out to be the largest single international mission trip in Bluefield College history, Variations joined other BC music students in sharing the gospel through music in Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic.

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