Belmont “welcomes home” its first African American graduate

Dr Fannie Hewlett

Dr Fannie Hewlett

For Belmont’s 125th anniversary celebration, they welcome home Dr. Fannie Hewlett, Belmont’s first African American graduate, as keynote speaker for the college’s inaugural Welcome Home week. Dr. Hewlett has an amazing and emotional story you’ll want to experience.

Dr. Hewlett earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and English from Belmont University, a master’s degree in clinical and school psychology from Fisk University, a doctorate of education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and she conducted post-doctoral studies in community college leadership at the University of Texas at Austin. Hewlett began her career at Chattanooga State in 1979 as an instructor in Behavioral Sciences. She was selected as the department head for Social and Behavioral Science in 1989 until she was promoted to dean, and then to vice president for Academic Affairs in 2001. In 2011 she was named provost and vice president through her retirement last year.

Belmont’s “Welcome Home Team” initiative (WHT), established five years ago to support the university’s goal of becoming increasingly more diverse and broadly reflective of their local and global communities, is comprised of Belmont students, faculty and staff. Through WHT, Belmont strives to become a model for creating and sustaining a culture of racial and ethnic diversity, producing a welcoming environment for all on campus. One of the team’s goals was to establish a designated Welcome Home Diversity Week to highlight their initiatives October 26-30, as follows:

So What IS Belmont Doing About Diversity?
Monday, October 26: 10:00 – 10:50am – Frist Lecture Hall, Fourth Floor Inman Center
Vice President and Chief of Staff Dr. Susan West will introduce via video a session in which WHT members will highlight the team’s work and the on-going campus diversity initiatives.

Let’s Talk About Diversity
Tuesday, October 27: 3:00 – 5:00pm – Large Theater in Johnson Center
It isn’t always easy, knowing what to say (or not to say) about race and ethnicity inside the classroom or outside it. Pertinent short films and group moderated by Dr. Cheryl Slay Carr and Dr. Phil Johnston.

A Discussion with Belmont’s First African American Graduate
Wednesday, October 28: 10:00 – 10:50am WAC 4094 – Wedgewood Conference Room C&D
WHT hosts a personal discussion with Dr. Fannie Hewlett, the first African American student to graduate from Belmont College, who shares her unique story of what brought her to Belmont and how her experience has guided her highly successful, life-long career in higher education.

Celebrate Diversity
Thursday, October 29: 6-8 pm – Beaman Student Life Center Lobby
Belmont students, the 629 Dance Team and Bruin Poetry Den celebrate diversity through spoken word, live music and dance.
Collaborative Art Project Recognizing Both Belmont’s Diversity and 125th Celebration
Friday, October 30: 10:00 am to 10:50 – Leu Center for the Visual Arts Auditorium

James R. Threalkill, local artist and National Diversity Director at Skanska USA, will present an artist’s perspective on his work in diversity initiatives and then lead a collaborative exercise with Belmont University faculty, staff and students to create a mosaic art piece that pays tribute to Belmont’s 125th celebration. The tiles that will create the art piece will be available at the entire week’s events for all to decorate.