Lipscomb keeps track of COVID surge while planning in-person graduation ceremonies

Lipscomb keeps track of COVID surge while planning in-person graduation ceremonies

Graduation — the moment students and their parents anticipate from the outset of the college journey — will look different this winter. It is still scheduled for December 19 in Allen Arena, but because of COVID, attendance will be limited, leaving out the parents. And, given the surge of the virus, there still is a chance it will be moved online, as it was last spring. In the spring, graduates didn’t have the opportunity to walk across the stage. For the first time in the university’s history, they hosted a virtual graduation. Students and their families watched the ceremony online. This semester Lipscomb is trying — despite the COVID pandemic — to give students the opportunity to walk across the stage. Because of the concerns about crowds and social distancing, the ceremony will be limited to faculty and graduates only. Parents, family members, and friends will have to watch the graduation ceremony through live stream. Provost Craig Bledsoe describes the pains taken to make sure graduation is safe  during this era of the killer virus. “Knowing the restrictions we have, our plan is to have a graduation that resembles, looks like, feels like, what a regular graduation would look like for students,” he said. “Graduation will be physically distanced as much as possible, with guidelines we’ve been given by the city and state as well as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.) “This will be for graduates, that’s probably going to be the biggest difference, we won’t have guests at the ceremony itself.” There is some trepidation though that this may not work, since positive...
‘Where Are They Now?’: Lipscomb Alum Savannah Hollis

‘Where Are They Now?’: Lipscomb Alum Savannah Hollis

 Savannah Hollis, a graduate of Lipscomb’s communications department, talked about her job with an NHL franchise and offered advice to current students during a Media Masters event. Media Masters is a series, sponsored by the department, that brings communications professionals “face-to-face” with Lipscomb students. This time, the event was held via Zoom. Hollis now works for the NHL’s Seattle Kraken team, managing their social media accounts. Hollis talked about her love for sports, especially hockey, a love which began when she was a child. During her time at Lipscomb, she originally had her sights set on a degree in psychology and soon realized that communications was more for her. She said that after joining the communications department, she became well prepared for this field. Hollis added that the professors helped her to find internship opportunities that led to some lifelong connections. “After learning about all the different paths you can take within communications, there was an opportunity to work in PR for a sports team. I don’t know many people who dream of working in PR for a sports team,” said Hollis. “ I never even considered that an option, I was really lucky to have that door opened up for me through Lipscomb. Mark McGee made quite a few introductions for me and helped me get on board with the Nashville Predators, and that’s where I got my start.” Hollis added, “Now I’m working for an expansion team in the NHL, you know managing their social media, helping on the PR side, and helping with the digital side.” Hollis stressed to students the importance of being professional and of...
No red carpet this year as COVID forces Dove Awards to try new format

No red carpet this year as COVID forces Dove Awards to try new format

In a normal October, the red carpet would be rolling out and leading into Allen Arena for the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards. This is not a normal October. The 51st GMA Dove Awards will not be hosted at Lipscomb; in fact, there will be no venue hosting the Dove Awards, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the awards show to be completely virtual, with planners trying to package it differently than a typical awards show. The gospel awards show has taken place in Lipscomb’s Allen Arena for the past seven years, and the organizers hope to be able to come back to Allen Arena in 2021. Doves producer Justin Fratt said organizers wanted to take a different approach for this year’s awards to stand out from other virtual awards shows and to maintain the relevance and power of this event. “When planning, we were thinking about what would be different, but still very compelling,” said Fratt. “We didn’t want to do it like others — we’ve seen awards shows utilizing Zoom. This will be a musical feature that celebrates the music and the message.” The planning started in the spring, and the show was recorded in mid-September at TBN studios in Hendersonville. It took three weeks to record the show, said Fratt, adding there are performances and interviews with artists, who will share stories of faith and how gospel music has gotten them through these trying times. As far as the Dove Awards’ plans to return to Lipscomb next year: it looks like it’s a go.  “As long as we can, we would love to gather again at...
Cyntoia Brown-Long talks of trek from convicted killer to advocate for sex-trafficking victims, inmates

Cyntoia Brown-Long talks of trek from convicted killer to advocate for sex-trafficking victims, inmates

Convicted killer Cyntoia Brown-Long, who became a Lipscomb alum by studying in the LIFE program while in prison, told students that God is ready to help them. “He is still there even when you can’t see him and he is working in your favor,” said Brown-Long in an interview with Dr. Kate Watkins at The Gathering. Brown-Long, who graduated from the LIFE program (she also got her GED) while incarcerated for the murder, shared her story during the interview October 13. Brown-Long — who said she was a victim of sex-trafficking — was given a life sentence at the age of 16, for the murder of a man who had picked her up for sex. She was charged as a prostitute and claimed self-defense during her trial. She served 15 years of her life sentence in prison, where she would earn her degree and reclaim her faith, she said. Celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian were drawn to her case and campaigned for her release. Through correspondence she met Christian rapper Jamie Long (aka J. Long), who she married while she was in prison. TV appearances drew the two together. Working with Lipscomb’s LIFE program — the Lipscomb Initiative for Education holds classes for inmates and with students who come to the women’s prison to study — she developed many skills that have helped her in the year since she was given clemency by Governor Bill Lee and released from prison. She also has frequently praised her husband for helping her recapture her faith. Brown-Long spoke about her way back to her faith during The Gathering. She said she...
Lipscomb provides students with free flu shot

Lipscomb provides students with free flu shot

Lipscomb University is promoting ways to stay safe, not only during this pandemic but with flu season approaching as well. Lipscomb is hosting the Bison Flu Fest, which will give all students the opportunity to get a flu shot right on campus. In efforts to keep the campus open, and all students safe, Lipscomb is making this a FREE event, and students do not need insurance in order to participate. The Bison Flu Fest has been coordinated by Lipscomb’s chapter of American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists and Lipscomb University Health Services. This will be a two-day clinic at the Allen Arena concourse. Starting Wednesday, September 23 and Thursday, September 24, from 9 a.m.-5 pm. There will also be an additional date for Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It will be a drive-through flu shot clinic right in front of Allen Arena where Lipscomb Pharmacy students will be administering the shots. ...