Dedication to Community
While this year saw many changes to the community life at Belmont, through the hard work of the college's staff and students we were able to have in-person classes and even some outdoor activities throughout the year. (From the top left, clockwise: an in-person class with the seniors, a trip to Skytop Orchard for apple picking, and a hike on South Fork Trail.)
First Meeting of the 2020 Semester
The first meeting of the semester was held outdoors by the William Gaston Science Building. Featuring a series of talks from Dr. Wysocki, Dr. Basil, and a closing prayer led by Dr. Hren, the event was a chance for new and current students to meet each other and learn what to expect during the rest of the semester.
Students were also invited to Agora's Poetry, Song, and Story Night, where the literary magazine of the school encourages students to pursue the arts by inviting them to come and read, sing, or recite any literary work they have prepared. Agora's leadership has now been handed over to the Honors College's own Dr. Hren, and many of the students and professors have made appearances, including a special visit from President Thierfelder.
High School: St. Joseph’s Catholic School
Hometown: Greenville, SC
Why the Abbey? I love BAC because of its size and because it’s so beautiful. It’s small enough and my professors in Biology, Chemistry, and the Honors College are ready to help with anything. I’m not just a number here. They’re here to help me learn and grow. I came because of the importance of faith in my life. With the basilica right on campus, campus ministry, and the chapel I’m kept grounded in encouragement. The whole environment fosters my faith.
Why the Honors College? I love the smaller community of really genuine people who inspire me to be better—after all, you are who you surround yourself with, and they make me better. Also the teachers are so kind, and take an interest in my life, which you don’t see in other colleges. I know they’re there for whatever I need, not only academically but also in terms of personal growth and formation for life after college—they form every part of us in faith and maturity.
How was your Corona college experience? I have loved the way that BAC has approached this. So many friends have been 100% online and I’m thriving with mostly in-person classes. Even though it wasn’t the same, I still think we made the most of it and I was still able to build community through things like hiking and office hours. I had an almost-normal experience. The ability to be in person is so necessary and we did it in a safe way.
Nikolas Von Spakovsky
Major: Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE)
High School: Mother of Divine Grace
Hometown: Blacksburg, VA
Why the Abbey and the Honors College? I thought I’d never go here when my older sister came years ago. But then I fell in love with the campus over time when visiting friends and family in the area, and Belmont Abbey wound up being the only college I applied to. I really chose Belmont Abbey because of the Honors College. The Great Books curriculum—reading the Republic, Homer, Virgil just in my first semester—appealed to me. I really liked the idea behind it—to learn to think critically by pursuing the realm of great books in a way that would develop these skills and will help me in any number of career paths.
What is the Honors community like? In terms of the community, there’s a wide variety of personalities, but we’re all close and tightly knit. All of us are engaging in it. I wasn’t worried about friends, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to develop life-long friendships. Not only do I have that, it’s almost like I have too many (studying and hanging out and sleeping are a lot to balance!). All of my professors have been understanding and willing to work with us and willing to meet us where we are.
What was your Corona college experience like? It was crazy and not at all what I thought my first semester of college would be. I was actually very pleased by and appreciated the college’s efforts to give us stuff to do (Plays, Community days, Abbey Fest, etc.). It was weird but under the circumstances it was actually pretty great.
Honors Alumni News & Announcements
Nathan Shomette and Stephanie Lugo are engaged and will be married in May 2021.
Elisa Torres and Alex Neff were engaged Summer 2020.
Alexis von Spakovsky (Honors ‘17) and Vincent Ginski (Honors ‘17) were engaged Fall 2020.
Bonnie Aberle (Honors ‘18) and Mark Trompeter (Honors ‘19) were married on July 11, 2020 at St. Michael’s in Gastonia, NC.
Helen Ginski (Honors ‘19) and Cofield Hilburn (BAC ‘18) got married on Oct 10th at St. Ann’s in Charlotte, NC.
Helen Ginski (Honors ‘19) graduated nursing school from UTHSC (University of Tennessee Health Science Center) in August, (accelerated BSN nursing program) and is now working as a nurse on a Covid floor in Knoxville.
Melody Rose (Honors '15) earned her master's degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Saint Michael's College in Vermont, USA, in August of 2020. She also became a senior teacher at the language school, Spěváček, in Prague, Czech Republic, where she observes and trains novice teachers as well as giving teaching seminars for the Czech ministry of education this autumn.
Welcome to the World!
Bren (Murphy) Gerten (Honors '13) and Bob Gerten welcomed Gideon Micahel Gerten to their family on October 3rd, 2020.
John Wilson (Honors '18) and Mary (Jacobean) Wilson (Honors '18) welcomed Gregory Lawrence Wilson into the world on October 6th, 2020.
Emily Kobet (BAC '17) and Peter Kobet (BAC '17) welcomed James Francis Kobet into the world on April 11th, 2020.
Ruth (Hymel) Sterett (Honors '13) and Keith Sterett (BAC '13) welcomed Judah Henry Sterett in June, 2020.