Belmont University: Dedicated to Conservation and Preserving Creation for Generations to Come
Belmont University

To empower men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world

The Outset, the Journey and the Road Ahead.

Sheer numbers don’t define one’s age; it is defined by one’s wisdom and intellectual standpoint. A few things throughout our society  become more valuable with age, including educational institutions. Deeply rooted in the soil with its prestigious educational curriculum and inspirational heritage is Belmont University, located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was founded in 1890 by Susan L. Heron and Ida B. Hood as Belmont College for Young Women and years later, it transformed into a full-fledged university.

Having seen multiple generations of young minds nurtured in its own backyard,  Belmont is now ranked No.5 in the Regional Universities South Category, and has been named as a ‘Most Innovative’ University by the U.S. News & World Report.

At present, the university consists of more than 8,000 students coming from every state of the US and more than 36 other countries. Belmont offers 90 areas of undergraduate study, more than 25 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees in a variety of areas, providing opportunities for students to study within their diverse passions. Specifically, Belmont is home to successful programs in music business, nursing, entrepreneurship, music performance and more.

Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The University’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs. With such an enormous number of educational programs available, there is no limit to the ways in which Belmont University can expand an individual’s horizon. Institutionally, their mission, as a student-centred Christian community, is to provide an academically challenging education that empowers men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined compassion, courage and faith.

Conserving Today for a Better Tomorrow 

Belmont’s culture emphasizes a belief that taking care of God’s Creation is more than just a cause, as they believe it to be a ‘charge,’ instead. Imbibing principles from the Bible and understanding the responsibility to preserve the earth for generations to come, Belmont University serves as an arboretum to preserve more than 100 species of trees and shrubs and carefully manages water usage for irrigation, as well. The university is home to many green roofs, and new buildings are constructed within LEED certified standards.

Further, for the heating and cooling of the campus, geothermal and other sustainable forms of energies are often used instead of the conventional/exhaustible sources.

Among the countless initiatives that illustrate Belmont’s contributions and commitments towards a sustainable environment, include:

  • The University earned Platinum LEED certification for the Janet Ayers Academic Center, making Belmont the first University in Tennessee and the first LEED for New Construction project in Nashville to achieve that level, the highest in the LEED ratings system
  • Gold LEED certification for both the Baskin and Johnson Centers
  • Multiple green roofs across campus provide hands-on learning labs for students, while serving the environment through better building insulation
  • Removing plastic water bottles across dining locations on campus
  • Providing free BLINK charging stations in parking garages, bike racks across campus and a campus-wide car sharing program that encourages more energy efficient modes of transportation
  • A composting system that converts food and cardboard waste into enriched soil additives through large dehydrators, reducing overall waste from food operations
  • A geothermal heating and cooling system that uses the Earth’s natural temperature to regulate interior climate
  • Designations as both a Nashville Tree Foundation Arboretum and USA Tree Campus (for multiple years in a row)
  • A University partnership with Metro Transit Authority (MTA) for students, faculty and staff to use public transportation to and from Belmont for free
  • Receipt of the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for two years in a row
  • The installation of meters in residence halls across campus that track electricity usage
  • An innovative and interactive irrigation system that collects run-off rainwater in underground tanks and utilizes current weather data to dictate the need for water

The philosophy underlining the vision of Belmont University can be laid out as their Conservation Covenant which states, “To take good care of that which takes such good care of us”.

Moreover, apart from the commendable environmental processes throughout campus, the University is also active within the community,  furthering its sustainability efforts. Belmont has a public-private partnership with Rose Park, a local facility that enables both the community and Belmont students to use green space including a track and soccer, baseball and softball fields.  Belmont is responsible for the consistent upkeep and management of the Rose Park Complex. Additionally, the University recently sent students throughout South Nashville neighbourhoods to provide shade and better air quality to local residents during its annual ReLeafing Day by planting more than 300 trees.

Sustainability: A Practice & a Priority

Belmont University has a cross-disciplinary Sustainability Team, led by the Vice President of Spiritual Development. Additionally, the University has a student organization solely focused on environmental issues that is represented on the larger campus-wide sustainability team.

Multiple sustainable issues are properly covered in curriculum activities through courses provided across campus.

Belmont constantly seeks ways of increasing its efforts all while educating students, faculty and staff.  This is done through their sustainability committee and environmental club, as well as work done through the university’s environmental/biology department including volunteer work, research in local wooded areas and streams, planting trees and more. As all of these efforts continue to educate students and the community, Belmont is constantly striving to find new ways to engage their sustainability commitment throughout the campus.

Go Green Elexir: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle 

At Belmont, it is appreciated to believe that ‘We don’t throw it away, as it can be used in some other way!’

The Belmont University community has engaged themselves in multiple recycle principles. Sodexo, the University’s dining services contractor, utilizes sustainable practices in the acquisition of locally grown food, waste management and water conservation, whenever possible. They are also required to pay a living wage to all front line employees.

RC Matthews, Belmont’s general contractor, recycles construction debris and build according to Green Building Standards. Moreover, all purchases of equipment associated with energy and water are assessed from a total cost of ownership. Additionally, appliances purchased for on-campus apartments are energy star rated ensuring the optimum level of energy conservation. At Belmont, it is further ensured that all electronic hardware must meet or exceed EPEAT criteria for energy efficiency, and all hardware disposals must comply with Nashville and Tennessee laws for disposal and recycling of electronic waste.

Complimenting all of the above, Belmont University uses LED lighting, natural flooring materials, energy efficient mechanical systems and hydration stations in conjunction with water fountains. Even for the irrigation purposes, only recycled grey water is used. Additionally, whenever bidding is performed at the University, prospective bidders are asked to provide pricing on green seal products and for a description of sustainability initiatives.

Belmont’s solid waste has been reduced by at least 2% thanks to the university’s recycling initiatives. In October 2017, Metro Nashville conducted an audit of Belmont’s recycling materials by capturing one week of recyclables which totalled 1.5 tons. With those results in mind, Belmont staff worked extensively to ensure recyclables were captured in appropriate containers. In February 2018, Metro returned to capture another week and gauge Belmont’s progress. This audit produced 2.1 tons, an increase of more than 35%. This increase in recycling tonnage is verification that at least 2% of material was diverted from landfills.

Impacts of Belmont: At Home, Over the Seas & Beyond

Outside of the classroom, Belmont’s community commitments undergird the institution’s policies and inform expectations of all community members. A commitment to understanding one’s impact on the surrounding community is exhibited in many of these behavioural expectations including personal integrity, critical thinking, self-control and community responsibility. Additionally, these ideals are carried throughout Belmont’s international education programming, including the university’s numerous study abroad and mission trip offerings. Beyond these commitments, Belmont students are provided with countless opportunities to participate in community service both domestically and abroad.

Additionally, 700 Belmont students are participating in Maymester or Summer Study Abroad experiences this year (2018), providing meaningful opportunities to expand the classroom beyond the traditional experience.

Dr. Bob Fisher: The Watchful Eyes overseeing Belmont’s nurturing.

Current Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher has been at Belmont since April 2000 and prior to his appointment, Fisher served as vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas State University. Under Fisher’s leadership, Belmont’s enrolment has more than doubled from 2,970 to over 8,000 for Fall 2018. New undergraduate majors have been added in motion pictures, music therapy, publishing, social entrepreneurship, song writing, worship leadership and public relations as well as doctoral programs in pharmacy and law.

In 2008, Belmont hosted the Town Hall Presidential Debate, and in the same year, Fisher was named “Tennessean of the Year.” In 2010, he was named “Nashvillian of the Year,” and in March of this year, Fisher was named “CEO of the Year” by the Nashville Post. Additionally, under his leadership, though Belmont’s enrolment has more than doubled in 15 years, the university’s energy efficient and sustainable approach has resulted in an energy cost increase of only 30%, despite a campus square footage increase of more than 70%.

Words of Trust: Hear from the Ones who belong there

My time at Belmont has been filled with so many opportunities to join clubs on campus, speak with prospective students and participate in internships that have allowed me to immerse myself in Nashville’s career scene. The Belmont community is so unique in how everyone works to lifteach other up and help them be the best they can. The people I have met have made a long-lasting impact on me, and in just three years, they have contributed to making me the person I am and want to be.

                                                                              ~ Claire Anderson, Public Relations Major ‘19

It’s hard to narrow down how Belmont has impacted my life in a few words. Simply put, Belmont has provided me opportunities and guidance on pursuing my belief that capital and music can positively change the world. More specifically, my experience with Enactus, a student organization focused on using entrepreneurial action to transform lives, has allowed me to use my knowledge of business to create positive social change in Nashville

~ Nick Chakinis, Finance & Songwriting Major ‘19

Belmont has significantly impacted my life by showing me how to excel in a competitive field without compromising my personal or professional integrity. Staff across campus lead by example, making it so easy for students to follow suit.”

~ Joseph North, College of Law Student ‘20

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